A practical campaign toolkit to address the issue of online sexual harassment amongst young people aged 13 – 17 years.
The Step Up, Speak Up! Teaching Toolkit is a practical, interactive and scenario-based resource which addresses the issue of online sexual harassment amongst 13-17 year olds.
About this toolkit
This toolkit is comprised of 4 lesson plans with accompanying films, an audio story, workshops and an assembly presentation. This toolkit gives young people the opportunity to explore their own attitudes and opinions of online sexual harassment, and to discuss ways to challenge unacceptable online behaviour.
The reporting process is a key theme that runs throughout the toolkit, and the different reporting options are explored and clarified.
*Opportunities for adaptation and extension are provided for all activities, plus additional information for educators to understand the background of the issues at hand and guidance on discussing these with students. *
Why should young people be taught about online sexual harassment?
It’s a growing issue
Project deSHAME found that 51% of UK young people aged 13-17 years have seen people sharing nude or nearly nude images of someone they know in the last year. We found 26% of UK young people reported that someone had shared gossip or lies about their sexual behaviour online, and 39% of UK young people have witnessed people setting up a page/group to share sexual gossip or images of their peers.
It’s not just about sexting
Online sexual harassment covers many different behaviours, with sexting being one out of the many other types. Sexting is an umbrella term and it can take many forms. Much of the previous work on this topic has been focussed on the initial sharing of the image, and risks placing the blame on the victim rather than concentrating on the unacceptable behaviour of the person who breached their trust and shared it on.
It’s not being reported enough
It’s clear that many young people are witnessing or experiencing a wide range of online sexual harassment incidents but not reporting them. Project deSHAME found that 53% of young people said they would ignore online sexual harassment if it happened to them, and only 15% said they would speak to a teacher about it.