Summary in English
Sexual harassment can take many forms, happen anywhere and be difficult to identify. Nevertheless, the fact that sexual harassment is common doesn’t make it acceptable. If someone’s behaviour feels wrong, it most probably is wrong.
The most difficult cases are those where people are harassed by their own boss or a person higher in hierarchy. A boss harassing an employee is one of the most serious forms of harassment and it can even constitute a crime . If you have suffered sexual harassment at work, don’t be afraid to report it to the police.
When in a healthy, equal relationship, a couple is free to decide what kind of sexual behaviour is part of their relationship. They can also determine what kind of language they want to hear from each other. You can accept and even like many sexual-oriented things your partner tells you, whereas those things would be absolutely unacceptable coming from a stranger. However, you do not have to accept everything from your partner either. Don’t be pressured into something you don’t want — whether married, dating or otherwise. Sex and sexual harassment are two different things.
Forms of possible sexual harassment:
• Sexually suggesting gestures or facial expressions
• Dirty talk or indecent jokes
• Inappropriate comments, remarks or questions concerning body, clothes or private life
• Pornographic material displayed in a public place
• Letters, messages, phone calls or emails with sexual contents
• Touching and making sexual advances
• Suggestions about sexual actions
It is just as wrong to harass someone online as it is face to face. It may even constitute a crime. It is good to tell someone about it; you don’t have to limit your presence online because of someone’s unacceptable behaviour.
While people have a spectrum of sexual desires, nobody should be forced to fulfil other person’s needs unwillingly. When it comes to sex, it is important to remember — if you don’t feel comfortable, you have the right to say no.
Those involved in a violent relationship might begin to think sexual violence is something that is part of every relationship. But sexual violence is always a crime and a sign of an unhealthy, abusive relationship.
Sexual violence should never be tolerated in any form or under any circumstances. If you have been a victim, or a witness of sexual violence , don’t be afraid to report it to the police.
Sexual violence can involve:
• harassing, making sexual advances, touching
• pressuring and/or forcing to unpleasant sexual actions
• forcing someone to have sex
It is never acceptable to verbally or physically repress someone in a relationship – unless it’s temporary and agreed by both parties. Married or not, you are never obliged to have sex with your partner unless you want to. Marital rape has been a crime in Finland since 1994. Rape also occurs when something is violently put inside the genitals or the genitals are violently forced into some part of the body. An intercourse is NOT required for the act to constitute rape. Rape also happens when someone has sex with an unconscious, frightened or otherwise defenceless person.
It is common for women to be afraid of rape in dark parks or streets by a stranger. Statistics, however, clearly state that the majority of these crimes are committed inside and by someone the victim knows.
If you have been raped:
• Do not wash yourself or change clothes or bed linen.
• Immediately after the rape, go to a safe place and call 112. The sooner you call, the more effective the investigation of the rape is.
• If the crime takes place outside, try to memorise any distinctive marks of the perpetrator. Try, for example, to recall the licence plate of the perpetrator’s car.
• If you are taken to hospital before the police arrive, state clearly that you have been raped. That is the only way to make sure the right tests are taken.
• Even if the assault happened a long time ago, you can still report it to the police. Remember to tell the police if you have any evidence of the crime.