Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault


Sexual harassment is when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, a request for sexual favours, or engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature towards another person. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and may include physical contact, verbal comments, jokes, propositions, the display of offensive material or other behavior, which creates a sexually hostile social environment. The Sex Discrimination Act prohibits sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in areas such as employment, education and accommodation. Sexual harassment is a legally recognized form of sex discrimination and can be a breach of an employer's common law duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of employees. It can also be a breach of occupational health and safety legislation.

Sexual assault is defined as any sexual behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened. It is sexual activity to which a person does not consent. The use of emotional or physical violence to force another person to engage in sexual activity also constitutes sexual assault. Sexual assault is a violation of human rights and is a crime against the individual and has far reaching emotional, social, legal, health and political consequences.

If you are a victim of sexual harassment, seek support from a friend or loved one to talk to. We have included (below) additional information for you in the case that you choose to make a formal complaint. If you are a victim of sexual assault, the hospital staff and police are expert at dealing with these offences and will guide you through the procedure, if that is your choice. Please see the relevant links below for more information.

More Information:

Legal Assistance:

If you are seeking legal advice or representation, you should check out the Law Society's website.  You may also wish to visit the Legal Aid webpage about lawyers

You may also be interested in downloading the Legal Aid Criminal Law Application For Legal Representation.