What is harrassment?

In Australia, Anti-discrimination law defines harassment as any form of behaviour that:

  • you do not want

  • offends, humiliates or intimidates you

  • creates a hostile environment.

And it is illegal.

What is sexual harassment?

As defined by the Australian Human Rights Commission

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behaviour which is likely to offend, humiliate or intimidate. It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or friendship.

Examples include:
• unwelcome physical touching
• staring or leering
• suggestive comments or jokes
• unwanted requests to go out on dates
• requests for sex
• emailing pornography or rude jokes
• sending sexually explicit texts
• intrusive questions about your private life or body
• displaying posters, magazines or screen savers of a sexual nature.

What is sexual assault?

As defined by the Department of Justice, NSW Government:

Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, or if a child or young person under 18 is exposed to sexual activities.

Sexual assault is a crime. Sexual assault is not the victim's fault.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone in our community. This includes people who are young or old, male or female, from any cultural background, wealthy or not so wealthy, married or not. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault.

Most victims of sexual assault know the person who assaulted them, such as a family member or friend or someone from work, school, church or another social group. A person you don't know or have just met can commit sexual assault.

Women and men as victims of sexual assault are treated equally under the law.