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Dealing With Gay Teen Sexual Harassment

What to Do If You Are a Victim


Like any other teens, gay teens may be victims of sexual harassment. This term refers to any unwanted sexual touching, jokes or comments. Sexual harassment is illegal, and it's not something you should have to deal with at school, or anywhere else.

Though people often assume that sexual harassment is something that a male boss does to his female employees, sexual harassment can happen in many different situations, and GLBT teens can be the victims.

In fact, not only are GLBT teens at risk for harassment, but a recent study found that,

"Sexual harassment causes more harm than bullying in both boys and girls. Girls and sexual minorities, however, appeared to be the most affected by sexual harassment, suffering from lower self-esteem, poorer mental and physical health, and more trauma symptoms (thoughts and feelings arising from stressful experiences) than boys."

So what can you do if you are a victim of sexual harassment? Here are seven things to consider:

  1. Tell the person to stop bothering you. This actually may be all it takes because sometimes people don’t realize that their behavior is unwanted.
  2. If you do decide to confront a harasser, bring a friend or adult along to back you up and to be a witness.
  3. Write a letter and keep a copy for yourself. But remember, the harasser might show this to other people.
  4. If confronting a harasser doesn’t work, or if you don't feel comfortable doing so, talk to school officials or your parents about the situation.
  5. Know that you have the legal right to complain to your school anonymously.
  6. Stand up for other people when you see them being harassed. This will help change your school's atmosphere and make harassment seem less okay.
  7. When necessary, you can consider taking legal action.

Remember, the difference between flirting and sexual harassment is that flirting makes you feel good and sexual harassment makes you feel bad. Sexual harassment isn't fun and it isn't your fault, but the more you know about this issue, the more you can help stop it in it's tracks.

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