Can A Student Be Held Responsible For Online Sexual Harassment?

The days when sexual harassment was only committed during face-to-face interactions are long gone.  Today, technology advancements and the rise of digital have made it possible for high school Title IX sexual harassment to occur between strangers on distant social media platforms. To name a few, social networking platforms, emails, forums, and IM services are typically a few places where online sexual harassment usually occurs.

Online sexual harassment has very real consequences even when the target and the harasser are miles apart. The victim may experience trauma and emotional suffering as a result. The victim could feel intimidated, forced, upset, exploited, sexualized, degraded, or singled out for discrimination. So how can someone who engages in sexual harassment online be held accountable?

What Is Online Sexual Assault?

Unwanted sexual behavior on any digital medium is referred to as online sexual harassment. There are several prevalent forms of online sexual misconduct, including, 

  • Using inappropriate language
  • sending explicit material
  • insults directed towards a person’s gender
  • Online bullying
  • Sexual jokes and innuendo
  • Online sexual enticements

Online physical harassment comes in a wide variety of forms. However, they may generally be divided into four groups. Have a look. 

#1. Sharing of intimate images and videos without consent

This category covers a wide variety of actions. It includes sexual images or films that were taken against someone’s will as well as those that were authorized but were distributed against their will. Non-consensual sexual actions captured on video are also included.

#2. Threats, Coercion, and Exploitation

Here, a person may encounter sexually explicit threats, coerced online sexual activity, or sexually explicit e-mail blackmail. It entails intimidating, threatening, or coercing someone by threatening to distribute sexual content and pressuring them online to submit sexual photographs of themselves.

#3. Sexual bullying

This occurs when sexual content that offends, degrades, or discriminates against an individual is used to target that person and systematically exclude them from a group of people or a community. Some examples include, 

  • Online rumors, smears, or fabrications regarding sexual activity
  • Online use of rude or discriminatory sexual language
  • Body shaming

#4. Unsolicited Sexual Information

This occurs when someone is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, remarks, and content. Sexual jokes, changing someone’s appearance to make them appear sexual, grading peers on their attractiveness or sexual propensity, and other behaviors that generally objectify women/ a person’s online profile fall under this category.

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