Sexual Harrassment
Vanessa

Hey Naomi. I don’t wanna go to school tomorrow. yesterday we had health class for the first time and after, the boys from my class started saying some mean things.

Naomi

Oh no! Boys can be pretty stupid, especially when it comes to growing up. What happened?

Vanessa

some of them were trying to slap our butts but I wouldn’t let them one of them called me prude and said I’d never get a boyfriend.

Naomi

Well let me tell you, those boys will never get girlfriends if they treat girls like that. What those boys did yesterday is a kind of bullying called sexual harassment, and if their mamas saw them doing that, they would be smacked upside the head.

Naomi

Don’t you go smacking them though. Tell an adult and let them handle it.

Vanessa

The boys said they were slapping girl’s butts because of they way we were dressing. Like it was our fault.

Naomi

Harassers are often really good at blaming victims. If it ever happens again don’t let them blame you, and don’t let them manipulate you into blaming yourself. There is no such thing as “asking for it.”

Vanessa

Yeah, that didn’t seem right when they were trying to blame me. It still made me feel bad though.

Naomi

Don’t let it get to you. Boys are going through a lot of changes just like you. Boys often feel like they have to act tough in front of other boys, and sometimes they end up doing stupid things. Just tell an adult if you anyone ever makes you feel uncomfortable.

Vanessa

A few weeks ago a boy in my class asked my friend if she was PMSing when she got angry at him. Is that harassment?

Naomi

Yes, if he said it in a mean way. Sexual harassment is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, sexual jokes, comments, or rumors on or offline. Showing someone an inappropriate image is harassment, as well as pulling someone’s clothing or touching someone without their permission. It’s called “inappropriate” for a reason. If a boy ever asks her that again she could responded, “No, but it seems like you are.”

Vanessa

lol yea. What if they said they were just flirting?

Naomi

Flirting is entirely different. You’re not flirting with someone if you’re making them uncomfortable. You will never get a date that way.

Vanessa

My friend said a boy she likes asked her to sext him, but she didn’t want to. Is he flirting?

Naomi

If she is uncomfortable with something, that’s the end of the conversation. If he tried to pressure her into doing something she didn’t’ want to, it becomes harassment.

Naomi

If that happens again she should let him know that she does like him but isn’t ready for that yet. If a boy really likes you for you he will get the picture.

Vanessa

okay. Thank you Naomi. Can I ask you more questions later?

Naomi

Of course you can! Below are more conversations about intimacy and harassment and don’t forget to let an adult know anytime anyone treats you in an unwelcome sexual way.

Vanessa

ok, thank you!

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