Respect Her Space

Sexual harassment - what you can do

Sexual comments, catcalling, ‘teasing’ or sexual ‘jokes’ might seem innocuous, but they can be very hurtful and threatening; especially to women and girls, and especially if they are coming from men and boys. These comments can also help normalise more serious acts of violence against women and girls.

We all have a role to play in preventing and stopping sexual harassment, and in treating everyone with dignity and respect. If you see someone behaving in this way, here are some things you can do

If you are witnessing sexual harassment and you know the person behaving inappropriately, you can challenge them through simple statements like:

  • That’s not ok
  • That wasn’t funny
  • You’re better than that
  • This behaviour makes me feel embarrassed
  • If you’re going to behave like that, then I’m leaving” (and mean it!)

You can also create a distraction to take the attention of the harasser away:

  • I’m hungry, let’s go get something to eat
  • I don’t like this bar / club / chippie, let’s go somewhere else
  • I’m going to get a drink, will you come give me a hand?
  • If you see someone being harassed by a stranger, you can intervene, if it is safe to do so – ask for help from your friends and challenge the harasser’s behaviour
  • Call for help – if you believe the person is in danger or the harassment intensifies, contact Police Scotland

Show support for the victim. Ask:

  • Are you ok?
  • Is someone bothering you?
  • Do you want me to call someone for you?
  • Do you want me to call you a taxi?