Tag Archives: sexual harassment

When is a hug considered sexual harassment?

Teenagers nowadays think nothing of giving each other hugs to greet each other. It is how we raised them. We raised them to show affection, we raised them to love. We also raised them to respect. We raised them to recognize the boundaries of what is right, what is wrong and what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

The other day when I picked her up from school, she was livid. She was outraged that on two separate occasions that day, two boys she considered as friends hugged her as is their usual way greeting each other. The first incident happened between classes. Her friend hugged her but in addition nuzzled her neck and kissed her neck. She said she was disgusted but was too shocked to say anything at the time. A little while later as she was going in to the classroom, another boy did the same thing to her. Whether the two contrived to do this to her or not, she is not sure. She is sure of how it made her feel. It made her feel uncomfortable and it made her feel dirty. She ran into the shower as soon as she got home to wash it all off. The thing is, you can not simply wash off the feeling of having been violated leaves behind.

You can’t simply chuck it to teenage hormones and that boys will be boys. Was she partly responsible for having been subjected to this? Should she consider changing the way she relates to her friends and should she be the one compelled to change classes so she does not have to deal with them again? The answer is a resounding NO.
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