What is Sexual Bullying?
Sexual bullying is any instance when youth use sexual words, acts, images, threats or any other behavior in any manner to distress, harm, taunt, demean, humiliate, and/or embarrass other youth who do not welcome, encourage, or want to participate in the exchange.
Sexual bullying may occur once, or it may occur frequently. It encompasses a wide variety of behaviors and is perpetrated by youth against their peers. It can occur in person, online or digitally.
In some instances, such as spreading rumors about a classmate, a victim may not even know it is occurring.
When schools prioritize awareness initiatives, like Step Up. Step In., a cultural shift can occur to stop sexual bullying. When left unchecked, however, sexual bullying brings tangible consequences to victims.