The Topic of the month at IPS International this July is Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour
Appropriate behaviour is action or language that is fitting, suitable or acceptable for a particular situation.
- Mutual respect for others and respect for individual differences
- Positive attitude
- Using acceptable language
Inappropriate behaviour is action or language that causes offence, upset and can lead to disciplinary measures.
- Written or verbal threats/abuse
- Offensive emails or social media posts
- Unsolicited physical behaviour
- Spreading rumours or false information
- Pranks, practical jokes or teasing
- Unwelcome sexual advances – such as unwanted touching, hugging/patting, wolf-whistling and comments on a person’s physical appearance
Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which:
- Violates your dignity and makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated
- Creates a hostile or offensive environment
- You don’t need to have previously objected to someone’s behaviour for it to be considered unwanted
Sexual Harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination?
Did you know sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. If you’re treated badly or less favourable because of your reaction to sexual harassment, you may have a claim under the Equality Act.
With many legal acts in place, such as The Sexual Offences Act, The Misuse of Telecommunications Act, The Malicious Communications Act and The Equality Act, anyone who thinks that they are immune from the law needs to consider their position carefully. As any form of sexual, emotional, physical or malicious harassment, abuse or assault could lead to criminal proceedings.
Examples of Sexual and Non-Sexual Harrassment
- Sharing sexually inappropriate images or videos
- Sending suggestive letters, notes, texts or emails
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures/comments
- Inappropriate touching
- Using racist slang/phrases
- Wearing clothing that could be offensive to a particular ethnic group or religious group
Abuse or Banter?
Did you know, according to Safeline; 6 out of 10 girls in the UK have been sexually abused at school according to a recent government report. The worst part about this is that most girls don’t realise that what they have experienced counts as abuse and will often shrug it off, putting it down to “banter” or “lad culture”.
The thing about banter is, it’s only funny if both parties find it funny. That seems like an obvious thing to say but young people will often confuse banter with abuse because they believe the person to be their close friend. However, if that person is offended by, or feels uncomfortable with something that is said to them, then it most certainly isn’t banter; it’s effectively bullying. If someone says “don’t be upset, it’s just a bit of banter”, it isn’t banter.
Words are sometimes more impactful than actions. Phrases and nicknames regardless of someone’s actions or lifestyle stay with someone and affect them more deeply than you realise. If someone makes a comment like this, a young person should not be expected to laugh it off or “get over it”. But this is abuse and it’s not ok
The same with clothing and fashion. The way someone dresses does not make them worthy of abuse or unwanted attention. Clothing or fashion does not lead to rape – rapists lead to rape and sexual abuse. Clothes do not provoke sexual assault – thinking like an assailant causes assault!
Check out this informative video by Blue Seat Studios that outlines Consent – It’s simple as tea.
Where to get additional support and advice
If you have questions or would like to discuss the subject of inappropriate sexual behaviour, then please talk to your trainer, tutor, or contact your IPS Designated Safeguarding Officers.
You can contact our Safeguarding Officers; Laura, Mary and Graham on:
Mary – 07900 265335
Laura – 07483 095871
Graham – 07825 309338
Recommended websites to visit to find out more information: