What are the examples of sexual harassment?

There is no universally agreed term for the types of behaviour that we are looking to tackle. As well as sexual harassment, you may have heard different terms used, including unwanted sexual behaviour, sexual assault, street harassment, and sexual violence. Whichever term is used, our campaign looks to stop all forms of this behaviour. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Flashing/exposure: e.g. exposing genitals in a public place and/or masturbating in public (this can also be done underneath someone’s clothing).
  • Sexual comments/gestures: e.g. behaviours such as “catcalling” and “wolf-whistling”, sexual propositions (verbal and non-verbal), and/or making comments about someone’s body.
  • Stalking: a pattern of fixated or obsessive behaviour which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the person targeted.
  • "Cyberflashing": e.g. sending or showing sexual images and/or website content/links commonly transmitted via AirDrop or Bluetooth.
  • Intrusive/persistent questioning: when you’ve made it clear you don’t want to talk to someone e.g. “Have you got a boyfriend/girlfriend?”, “Where are you going?” etc.
  • "Frottage": the practice of touching or rubbing against the clothed body of another person in a crowd (e.g. busy train or bus) as a means of obtaining sexual gratification.

  • Watching explicit content in public areas: e.g. pornography, in some cases trying to show this content to others around them.
  • "Upskirting": the practice of placing a camera beneath a person’s clothing to take a voyeuristic photograph without their permission.
  • Standing too close when there is no need to/invading personal space: e.g. somebody standing/sitting unusually close to you on a service that isn’t very busy.
  • Leering/staring in an intrusive way.
  • Being followed
  • Physical common and/or sexual assault: e.g. Non-consensual touching, grabbing, groping, stroking, kissing etc.
  • Rape: penile penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth without consent.