Languages | InclusionClick here or press Escape to leave this site now
Call our helpline

Sexual harassment

Speech bubble and handprint

Sexual harassment is broadly defined as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. It is a form of gender-based violence that humiliates and isolates women. Sexual harassment can deeply impact women’s lives: it can lead to survivors leaving their job or dropping out of their studies, and it can negatively affect on mental health.

Some examples of sexual harassment are:

  • Making sexually embarrassing ‘jokes’
  • Wolf-whistling or catcalling at you in the street
  • Sending inappropriate texts and emails to or about you
  • Making offensive and/or sexually explicit comments
  • Making unwelcome verbal or physical advances
  • Unwelcome touching in a sexual way

Women experience sexual harassment in all aspects of their lives, to the extent that it has been normalised by society. People often call it ‘banter’ or a ‘just a bit of a joke’, but its impact can be devastating, especially when it is not recognised as abuse.

What are my legal options?

Each case of sexual harassment is different and the legal steps you can take will depend on the specific circumstances. For some guidance and signposting as to where you can get help visit our legal factsheet on sexual harassment.


Looking for more information on sexual harassment?


Other support and organisations that can help

Rape Crisis Scotland

Victims Support Scotland

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Revenge Porn Helpline

Get safe online

Victims of Internet Crime

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (Acas)

Guide: Bullying and harassment at work – Guide for employees

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

Guide: Sexual harassment in the workplace


In immediate danger or looking to report?

If you feel you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 999. If you are not in immediate danger but would like to report, call the Police on 101. Alternatively, you can fill out Police Scotland’s online form. Police Scotland respond and investigate reports of criminal activity, this includes various forms of gender-based violence.

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
Back to top


08088 010 789

Our daytime helpline is currently available:

Our evening helpline, staffed by pro-bono solicitors who can provide initial advice, is currently available:

For up-to-date availability including any upcoming closures, please click here.

Please note our helplines will be unavailable between 20th December 2023 and 8th January 2024 while our Centre is closed for the holidays.