Harassment from Boys
So basically, for a while, I have been getting harassed by boys. I am a 16-year-old girl and boys tend to get attracted to me. However, I go to an all girls school, not dating and I will only be entering the dating world once I have finished studying (basically I’m not interested in dating someone at the moment). However, I feel like men are constantly harassing me. For example, I once was walking down the road and a boy came up to me to tell me that he wants to play a game with me and kiss me. I said no and quickly began walking away but he kept following me. I crossed the road and he literally stalked me, practically to my house. I then walked into a store where many people were. He didn’t enter and then I quickly got home. Another time, this guy who I know is married with kids (he must be about 40) began commenting on how pretty I am etc. It made me feel uncomfortable. I’ve also had issues with walking down the road and boys commenting to me like “hey you single” or “you’re just so pretty”. I’ve never spoken about this because it makes me uncomfortable yet people know that I have people constantly coming up to me and harassing me. I also feel like it’s not important enough to tell someone and waste their time since it’s not being sexually harassed, just verbally harassed.
My questions are: a) Is this a form of harassment? b) How do I approach someone to help me since I feel so uncomfortable with this? c) Am I supposed to be getting help or is it something I shouldn’t be bothering people with?
- Being harassed by boys and abused by men can make you feel disrespected and fearful. You are smart for noticing that their behavior towards you is wrong even though they continue to cross your boundaries.
- If a boy or man crosses your boundaries in any way, no matter how small their actions seem. you have the right to say no. Their behavior is harassment. Also, it’s against the law for older men to talk to you since as a teenager you’re still considered a child.
- Get educated on what sexual harassment and abuse is. You can find resources on wcasa.org (comprised of people trying to end sexual violence in Wisconsin) on Teen Sexual Assault and Abuse. There may be other laws in your state. Do your research.
- You may do whatever is necessary to protect yourself from those who want to use or harm you in any way. Be strong and brave. Learning self-defense or martial arts might make you feel safer.
- Keep telling authority figures until someone listens and is willing to help you. You can tell a security guard, school counselor or police officer if necessary. Even an employee at a business or store could help you.
- Getting help about this is an option.
- Sometimes it’s easier to stick with a trusted group of positive friends. Maybe you can even tell them about your problem and they can help defend you.
- Your own life is completely important. Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise. Your own safety should be your priority. On the Teen Central website, click the Help tab to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline or 9-1-1 for help.
- The more you approach people about harassment the easier it becomes. Be confident in your actions because most people are bothered by this. The problem is that most people don’t speak up about it.
- Is there a trusted adult, like a counselor, a parent or a friend’s parent that you can talk to about this?
- What goals can you focus on that you want to achieve for your future?
- What can you learn from your bad experiences with boys and men?