The NSPCC has defined sexual bullying as “any bullying behaviour, whether physical or non-physical, that is based on a person’s sexuality or gender. It is when sexuality or gender is used as a weapon by boys or girls towards other boys or girls – although it is more commonly directed at girls. It can be carried out to a person’s face, behind their back or through the use of technology.”
More and more young people are telling us that they are experiencing sexual bullying, some examples are:
- Using words that refer to a person's sexuality as an insult like using the word ‘gay’ as something bad
- Using sexual words to make someone feel bad like ‘slut or ‘slag’
- Making threats or jokes about something serious like rape
- Gossiping about someone’s sex life either verbally, using graffiti or using social media
- Pulling at someone’s clothing or brushing up against them sexually
- Asking someone to send you a naked picture of herself/himself or sending unwanted sexual pictures to them
- Showing someone sexual pictures or videos
If you’re experiencing any of this we can support you here. You might feel like what you’re going through isn’t serious enough for you to need help, but this isn’t the case. We know that sexual bullying can have a massive impact on your wellbeing. You have the right to feel safe and to get support for what you’re going through.
If you are a teacher or youth worker who feels that sexual bullying is a problem where you work we can provide an awareness raising workshop for the young people you are caring for and help them understand sexual bullying and its consequences. If you would be interested in this please email our Prevention Worker, Paula.