Sexual Harassment on Children

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Sexual harassment in the form of the creation of a hostile environment arises when the abuser’s unwelcome sexual conduct creates an intimidating learning or working environment for the victim. In some cases, the abuser’s behavior can be so severe that it affects the victim’s ability to work or benefit from an educational program or activity. In this category of sexual harassment, the abuser does not always have some authority or any form of power over the victim. For instance, students can harass their peers. In the work situation, the abuser can be a low-ranked employee harassing their supervisor (the University of Michigan, n.d.).Sexual harassment of children can occur in a social situation or on the internet. In most cases, the people harassing children sexually in a social setting are either family members or those who are known to the family (UNICEF, n.d.). In the online situation, sexual harassment occurs mostly in the form of unwanted sexual attention and gender harassment. The occurrence of unwanted sexual attention requires direct personal communication between the harasser and the victim (Mitchell, Wolak, Finkelhor, 2008). The harasser sends offensive messages to the victims, which directly refer to sex. In most cases, the victims are asked about their sex life, intimate objects, sex organs, or other sex-related activities. In this category of harassment, the harasser’s intention is to solicit sexual cooperation from the victim (Barak, 2005. Schrock Boyd, 2011). Since children do not always consider such messages offensive, they become sexually harassed without their knowledge.On the other hand, gender harassment involves communications in graphic or verbal formats targeting a specific gender. The abusers deliver such messages in active or passive manners. Active verbal sexual harassment occurs in the form of offensive sexual messages targeting specific victims.