Sexual harassment is the “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them”. Equality Act of 2010. It covers indecent/suggestive remarks, unwanted touching, requests or demands for sex and the dissemination of pornography.
Forms of sexual harassment
- Verbal-making comments about someone’s body parts, appearance or writing sexual messages about someone on bathroom and toilet walls.
- Physical-unwanted touch.
- Visual-being forced to see inappropriate pictures, videos or text messages.
Sexual harassment is a crime which is unacceptable. It’s usually perpetrated in the privacy of homes and is committed by people who are close to us and our parent’s trust which is shameful. Victims prefer to keep their victimization hidden, fearing blame. But this is a danger to yourself and others who may be the next victims, SO SPEAK UP.
What to do if you are a victim?
- Know what it is and all its forms so that you are aware of it when it happens.
- Tell someone you trust about it. It will help you get help.
- Seek medical attention to check if you are sexually hurt and detect any injuries for protection against STDS or pregnancy.
- Consider telling the police about it. You may save someone else from being similarly attacked.
- If you are still living with your abuser, you must get out of there immediately and go to anybody’s home you trust or to church or police station.
- Get counseling; it will help you get through your pain. This doesn’t mean you are abnormal; you are simply getting proper assistance from someone who knows how to help you deal with this emotionally and psychologically.
NB: don’t consider keeping quiet. It will not help you or anyone else. Chances are high that if you keep quiet, this bad act will continue and it will keep hurting or traumatizing you. Most abusers have a habit of threatening to do harm to you if you tell anyone, this can only happen if you keep quiet. If you speak up, you will have taken the power to hurt you from them to yourself. They will fear the results and will actually fear you. Tell someone about it and save yourself and others who might be the next targets. Nothing will happen to you. If you don’t have anybody to tell, talk to us, Girl talk Uganda is here for you, to give you a platform you can freely share your ideas and express your feelings.