Flirting between people is common and healthy. But some people have trouble knowing the difference between respectful behavior and unwanted attention. Sexual harassment is any unwanted physical or verbal advance that is sexual in nature. It can leave the recipient feeling demeaned and threatened. Approximately 80% of teens experience sexual harassment. If this happens to you or someone you know, you can report this to a trusted authority figure.
Dating is a healthy part of being a teenager, but things can get complicated when age differences come into play. In Pennsylvania, sexual activity between someone under 16 years old and someone four or more years older is statutory rape. A healthy relationship requires a balance of power. The offender could be someone you are dating, an acquaintance, an authority figure, etc.
If your friend is sexually assaulted
Believe them. Listen to them. Let them know it wasn’t their fault. Let them decide who to tell and what to do. They may need medical attention. Even if they can’t see any injuries, they could still be injured internally. In order for the nurse to collect evidence, your friend should not eat/drink, shower, urinate or change clothes before going to the emergency room. An advocate from VOICe is available to meet with your friend at the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When the guy is the victim
Yes, guys are raped and sexually assaulted. No, it doesn’t mean they’re gay, weak or less of a man. It’s NEVER the victim’s fault. Sexual violence has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Just because a guy is assaulted by another guy, it doesn’t mean he’s gay—no matter how the victim’s body reacted during the attack. One out of every six guys is sexually assaulted by the age of 18.
You can anonymously access our 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-400-8551. It is important that you know that all VOICe services are free and confidential.