Sexual harassment is any type of sexual contact between an adult and a child or between two children who are both under the age of 18. It includes activities such as fondling, oral sex, anal sex, and penetration. Sexual Harassment can also involve forcing a child to engage in sexual activity with another person.
While sexual harassment can happen to any child, some risk factors may make a child more vulnerable. These include having a disability, being from a low socio-economic background, being exposed to violence at home, or being involved in a dysfunctional family.
Preventing Sexual Harassment in Arizona Schools
As a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to protect your children from sexual harassment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a reality in our society, and it can happen anywhere – even in schools.
Preventing sexual harassment in schools starts with educating both children and adults about the issue. Children need to be taught about their bodies and what is appropriate and inappropriate touching. They also need to know that they can come to you with anything that is happening in their life, no matter how difficult it is to talk about.
Adults also need to be educated about sexual abuse and its signs. They need to be aware of the risk factors that make children more vulnerable so that they can be on the lookout for signs of harassment. And they need to know what to do if they suspect that a child is being abused.
Signs Sexual Harassment
There are some signs that a child may be experiencing sexual harassment. These include changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or aggressive; changes in eating habits; changes in sleeping patterns; and suddenly having unexplained injuries. If you notice any of these signs in your child, it is important to talk to them about what is going on and to get help from a professional if necessary.
If you suspect that your child is being sexual harassment, the first step is to talk to them about it. It is important to let them know that they can come to you with anything that is happening in their life, no matter how difficult it is to talk about. If they do disclose that they are being abused, believe them and support them.
You should then contact the police or child protective services to make a report. It is also important to get your child professional help, such as counseling, to deal with the trauma of the harassment.
Arizona Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program
Arizona Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program (SVPEP) is a statewide effort to prevent sexual violence and educate all Arizonans about its causes, effects, and solutions. The program offers training and technical assistance to schools, communities, and professionals; provides public education through workshops, conferences, and the media; and funds research on promising prevention strategies.
If you would like more information about Preventing Sexual Abuse in Arizona Schools or the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program, please contact the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence at (602) 279-2900 or visit their website.
Arizona Sexual Harassment Laws
The Arizona Legislature has enacted several laws designed to protect children from sexual harassment. These laws make it a crime to engage in sexual conduct with a minor, define certain sex offenses as crimes against children, and require certain professionals who work with children to report any suspected harassment.
If you suspect that a child is being sexual harassment, you should contact the police or child protective services immediately. By working together, we can help to prevent sexual harassment in Arizona schools and create a safer environment for all children.