The Reporting Process of Sexual Harassment: What to Expect

Telling a parent/teacher/(assistant) principal that you have been sexually harassed may be difficult, but, it can be done. Lots of times, some people are not sure how to approach the subject of sexual harassment and talking about. So, if you decide to report it, here are a few things to remember:

1. Try to remember that it’s not your fault.

Sometimes victims will try and blame themselves for the harassment. It is never your fault. What happened is on the harasser. It doesn’t matter what you said, what you were wearing, if you were flirting with the person, or even if you liked them. When someone does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, and they keep doing it, it is on THEM, not you.

2. Reporting the harassment could help other students, too.

I understand firsthand how hard it can be to report an incident of sexual harassment. However, if you report the harassment, you can help other students, too. How? I’ll give you an example of how reporting the harassment might go: You report the incident to your assistant principal. Then they investigate it, and find out that the person is in fact harassing you. The student responsible for the harassment should face disciplinary action. It is important to note that other people could of been harassed by the same person that you were. Therefore, not only do you help yourself, you help others too because they no longer have to put up with the harassment either.

3. Being uncomfortable, scared, or nervous about reporting it, doesn’t last long.

One of the main reasons why some students don’t tend to report sexual harassment, is because it may seem like it would be uncomfortable to talk about it. However, I want to assure you that feeling uncomfortable or nervous or scared will not last long, at all. I promise you that. I will give you an example of how the reporting process itself would go:

You decided to go tell your assistant principal ( It can be anyone, I’m just using this as an example) that you were/are being sexually harassed. They will then asked you what happened. This is good time to take out any notes or anything similar describing what happened. On those notes, you’ll want to include the dates and times, (if possible) what was said between you and the harasser,(if anything) and include anything else they may have done, such as touching, etc. where it happened, how it made you feel, and if there were any witnesses. It is important to note that if any touching occurred, you will most likely be asked to describe where upon yourself the touching took place. This can be uncomfortable. However, I want to assure you that anyone who is conducting the investigation, will be very professional. They will let you take as much time as you need, to gather your thoughts, process any new information that you may remember, and take a break if necessary. They are there to support you and help you through it. After that is done, they will (should) speak with the harasser. They will then look to see if your stories match up. Once that is complete, they will (most likely) inform you if the harasser/offender will face disciplinary action. Although, they will not be able to give specifics. Lastly, they should follow up with you to see how you are doing. If you need counseling, or anything like that, they should get you in you in touch with a school counselor. 

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