illustration of hands holding hearts

As our thoughts turn to the summer holiday and the break from college, we have put together a series of resources for you to use to help you stay safe over the summer.

As our thoughts turn to the summer holiday and the break from college, we have put together a series of resources for you to use to help you stay safe over the summer.

Healthy Relationships

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted sexual behaviour. It can happen anywhere, such as at school, on the bus or at work and can be a ‘one-off’ or repeated behaviour. Common forms of sexual harassment include:

  • someone making sexual comments, jokes, or gestures, including jokes about sexuality
  • spreading sexual rumours about you
  • staring or leering at your body
  • calling you names such as “slut” and “whore”
  • sending unwanted sexual emails, DMs, or text messages
  • offering rewards in return for sexual favours
  • showing sexual photos or videos at school or work
  • lifting up your skirt or top, or pulling down your trousers
  • someone exposing private parts of their body or masturbating in front of you without your consent
  • pressuring you to do sexual things that you don’t want to do
  • unwanted touching or physical contact without your consent

Some of these can also be types of sexual assault.

You may hear lots of different terms around the topic of sexual harassment. Harassment can cover lots of different behaviours, but if harassment is becoming physical, forceful, or develops into threats then it can be classed as sexual violence, assault, or abuse.

Flirting or Harassment?

Sometimes people who make sexual jokes or comments laugh off their behaviour as flirting, and you might be tempted to do the same. So, what's the difference between flirting and sexual harassment?

Here are three examples of flirting versus harassment:

You and your friend have been flirting and you both start making jokes about sexting. Your crush asks if you'd ever do that. You say, "No way!" With normal flirting, that's the end of it. But if your crush starts pressuring you to send sexual pictures, then it's getting into harassment territory.

Someone in class says your new jeans look great. That's a compliment. But if they say your new jeans make your bum look great, or they make comments about specific body parts, that's crossing the line.

Someone you're not attracted to asks you to go to a social event. It seems harsh to say you're not interested, so you make up an excuse. The person asks a couple more times but eventually gets the hint. This is a normal social interaction. But if the person hits on you in a creepy way — like making references to sex or your body, sending sexual messages, always showing up wherever you happen to be, or trying to touch you, hug you, or bother you — that's harassment.

Some things may be awkward, but they don't count as harassment. A guy who blurts out a sex-related swearword because he spills his lunch tray isn't likely to be trying to harass or bother you. But if someone is deliberately doing or saying sexual things that make you uncomfortable, it's possibly sexual harassment.

Not sure? Ask yourself, "Is this something I wanted to happen, or I want to continue happening? How does it make me feel?" If it doesn't feel right, talk to a parent, teacher, guidance counsellor, or someone else you trust.

How to Handle Sexual Harassment

If you think you're being harassed, don't blame yourself. People who harass or bully can be very manipulative. They are often good at blaming the other person — and even at making victims blame themselves. But no one has the right to sexually harass or bully anyone else, no matter what. There is no such thing as "asking for it".

There's no single "right" way to respond to sexual harassment. Each situation is unique. It often can be helpful to start by telling the person doing the harassing to stop. Let him or her know that this behaviour is not OK with you. Sometimes that will be enough, but not always. The harasser may not stop. He or she might even laugh off your request, tease you, or bother you more.

That's why it's important to share what's happening with an adult you trust. Is there a parent, relative, coach, or teacher you can talk to? More and more schools have a designated person who's there to talk about bullying issues, so find out if there's someone at your school.

Most schools have a sexual harassment policy or a bullying policy to protect you. Ask a guidance counsellor, school nurse, or administrator about your school's policy. If you find the adult you talk to doesn't take your complaints seriously at first, you may have to repeat yourself or find someone else who will listen.

There's no doubt it can feel embarrassing to talk about sexual harassment at first. But that uncomfortable feeling quickly wears off after a minute or so of conversation. In most cases, telling someone sooner leads to faster results and fewer problems down the line, so it's worth it.
It can help to keep a record of the events that have happened. Write down dates and short descriptions in a journal. Save any offensive pictures, videos, texts, or IMs as evidence. That way you'll have them if your school or family has to take legal action. To avoid going through feeling upset all over again, save this evidence someplace where you don't have to see it every day.

If You See Something, Say Something

Bystanders play an important role in stopping bullying and sexual harassment. If you see someone who is being harassed, act. If it feels safe and natural to speak up, say, "Come on, let's get out of here" to the person you see getting bullied or bothered. You probably shouldn't try to change the bully's behaviour by yourself, but it is OK to let the bully know people are watching and will be getting involved.

If you don't feel you can say something at the time you see the incident, report the event to an adult. This isn't snitching. It's standing up for what's right. No one deserves to be harassed. You could also talk to the victim afterwards and offer support. Say that you think what happened is not OK and offer some ideas for dealing with harassment.

If You Suspect Something

You won't always see sexual harassment or bullying happening. A friend who is going through it might not talk about it.

Sometimes people show signs that something's wrong even if they don't talk about it. Maybe a normally upbeat friend seems sad, worried, or distracted. Perhaps a friend has lost interest in hanging out or doing stuff. Maybe someone you know avoids school or has falling grades. Changes like these are often signs that something's going on. It may not be sexual harassment or bullying (things like mood swings or changes in eating habits can be signs of many different things). But it is a chance for you to ask if everything's OK.

Removal of online imagery

If you’re under the age of 18 and a nude image or video of you has been shared online, you can report it to be removed from the internet

The Childline website provides full details on the process to help you do this.

Offering friends/strangers paid lifts in your car

While it is the right thing to do to offer to be the designated driver if you’re planning a night out with friends or family, you need to be mindful that offering paid lifts for friends and strangers may pose some risks for you.

It is illegal for you to offer people lifts in exchange for money as this effectively means that you are operating a taxi service. This means that not only would you risk being fined, but your insurance might also be invalidated which means that you wouldn’t be covered in case of an accident.

It is tempting to try and earn some extra cash by offering lifts, but you do need to be mindful of the dangers relating to your safety and well-being especially if you are giving lifts to strangers.


Run, hide, tell information

Fortunately, incidents in college when the Run, Hide, Tell information is necessary are extremely rare in the UK, but you do need to be aware of what to do if you are facing a dangerous situation.

RUN

  • Escape if you can
  • Consider the safest options
  • Is there a safe route? RUN if not HIDE
  • Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater danger?
  • Insist others leave with you
  • Leave belongings behind

HIDE

  • If you cannot RUN, HIDE
  • Find cover from gunfire
  • If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you
  • Cover from view does not mean you are safe, bullets go through glass, brick, wood, and metal
  • Find cover from gunfire e.g. substantial brickwork / heavy reinforced walls
  • Be aware of your exits
  • Try not to get trapped
  • Be quiet, silence your phone and turn off vibrate
  • Lock / barricade yourself in
  • Move away from the door

TELL

  • Call 999 - What do the police need to know? If you cannot speak or make a noise listen to the instructions given to you by the call taker
  • Location - Where are the suspects?
  • Direction - Where did you last see the suspects?
  • Descriptions – Describe the attacker, numbers, features, clothing, weapons etc.
  • Further information – Casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exits, hostages etc.
  • Stop other people from entering the building if it is safe to do so

Hopefully, you will never need to use this information, but remembering these simple instructions may save your life.


Safe Outdoor Swimming

As hopefully, the warm weather continues into the summer holidays, it is tempting to swim in open waters to cool off especially as we are blessed with a number of these sites in and around our county. However, we must be vigilant to the dangers that this activity poses.

Circa 400 people drown each year in the UK - tragically many these are young males. 44% of drownings occur between May and August and 62% of the fatalities occur at inland water sites such as rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and quarries.

With the restrictions on overseas travel, we believe that there will be many more young people seeking to find places where they can enjoy water-based activities near their homes during the warmer weather and summer holidays. Whilst supportive of people enjoying the water, we are keen to raise awareness of the potential hazards associated with some inland waters such as quarry lakes.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) recently ran the National Drowning Prevention Week. As part of this campaign, they have produced some great resources to help promote key water safety messages. These resources focus on giving you the skills and knowledge you need to enjoy the water, safely.

More information can be found from these links:

DROWNING PREVENTION WEEK 2021

SHARING DROWNING PREVENTION WEEK

NATIONAL WATER SAFETY

FLOAT TO LIVE ADVICE


Safeguarding Cover over the Summer holidays

During the summer months, there is a limited safeguarding service available through the college during normal college hours (Monday - Friday, 8.30 am until 4 pm). Out of hours support is available and further details can be accessed here.

 

Summer Safety comms webpage

As our thoughts turn to the summer holiday and the break from college, we have put together a series of resources for you to use to help you stay safe over the summer.

Healthy Relationships

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted sexual behaviour. It can happen anywhere, such as at school, on the bus or at work and can be a ‘one-off’ or repeated behaviour. Common forms of sexual harassment include:

• someone making sexual comments, jokes, or gestures, including jokes about sexuality
• spreading sexual rumours about you
• staring or leering at your body
• calling you names such as “slut” and “whore”
• sending unwanted sexual emails, DMs, or text messages
• offering rewards in return for sexual favours
• showing sexual photos or videos at school or work
• lifting up your skirt or top, or pulling down your trousers
• someone exposing private parts of their body or masturbating in front of you without your consent
• pressuring you to do sexual things that you don’t want to do
• unwanted touching or physical contact without your consent

Some of these can also be types of sexual assault.

You may hear lots of different terms around the topic of sexual harassment. Harassment can cover lots of different behaviours, but if harassment is becoming physical, forceful, or develops into threats then it can be classed as sexual violence, assault, or abuse.

Flirting or Harassment?

Sometimes people who make sexual jokes or comments laugh off their behaviour as flirting, and you might be tempted to do the same. So, what's the difference between flirting and sexual harassment?

Here are three examples of flirting versus harassment:

You and your friend have been flirting and you both start making jokes about sexting. Your crush asks if you'd ever do that. You say, "No way!" With normal flirting, that's the end of it. But if your crush starts pressuring you to send sexual pictures, then it's getting into harassment territory.

Someone in class says your new jeans look great. That's a compliment. But if they say your new jeans make your bum look great, or they make comments about specific body parts, that's crossing the line.

Someone you're not attracted to asks you to go to a social event. It seems harsh to say you're not interested, so you make up an excuse. The person asks a couple more times but eventually gets the hint. This is a normal social interaction. But if the person hits on you in a creepy way — like making references to sex or your body, sending sexual messages, always showing up wherever you happen to be, or trying to touch you, hug you, or bother you — that's harassment.

Some things may be awkward, but they don't count as harassment. A guy who blurts out a sex-related swearword because he spills his lunch tray isn't likely to be trying to harass or bother you. But if someone is deliberately doing or saying sexual things that make you uncomfortable, it's possibly sexual harassment.

Not sure? Ask yourself, "Is this something I wanted to happen, or I want to continue happening? How does it make me feel?" If it doesn't feel right, talk to a parent, teacher, guidance counsellor, or someone else you trust.

How to Handle Sexual Harassment

If you think you're being harassed, don't blame yourself. People who harass or bully can be very manipulative. They are often good at blaming the other person — and even at making victims blame themselves. But no one has the right to sexually harass or bully anyone else, no matter what. There is no such thing as "asking for it."

There's no single "right" way to respond to sexual harassment. Each situation is unique. It often can be helpful to start by telling the person doing the harassing to stop. Let him or her know that this behaviour is not OK with you. Sometimes that will be enough, but not always. The harasser may not stop. He or she might even laugh off your request, tease you, or bother you more.

That's why it's important to share what's happening with an adult you trust. Is there a parent, relative, coach, or teacher you can talk to? More and more schools have a designated person who's there to talk about bullying issues, so find out if there's someone at your school.

Most schools have a sexual harassment policy or a bullying policy to protect you. Ask a guidance counsellor, school nurse, or administrator about your school's policy. If you find the adult you talk to doesn't take your complaints seriously at first, you may have to repeat yourself or find someone else who will listen.

There's no doubt it can feel embarrassing to talk about sexual harassment at first. But that uncomfortable feeling quickly wears off after a minute or so of conversation. In most cases, telling someone sooner leads to faster results and fewer problems down the line, so it's worth it.
It can help to keep a record of the events that have happened. Write down dates and short descriptions in a journal. Save any offensive pictures, videos, texts, or IMs as evidence. That way you'll have them if your school or family has to take legal action. To avoid going through feeling upset all over again, save this evidence someplace where you don't have to see it every day.

If You See Something, Say Something

Bystanders play an important role in stopping bullying and sexual harassment. If you see someone who is being harassed, act. If it feels safe and natural to speak up, say, "Come on, let's get out of here" to the person you see getting bullied or bothered. You probably shouldn't try to change the bully's behaviour by yourself, but it is OK to let the bully know people are watching and will be getting involved.

If you don't feel you can say something at the time you see the incident, report the event to an adult. This isn't snitching. It's standing up for what's right. No one deserves to be harassed. You could also talk to the victim afterward and offer support. Say that you think what happened is not OK and offer some ideas for dealing with harassment.

If You Suspect Something

You won't always see sexual harassment or bullying happening. A friend who is going through it might not talk about it.

Sometimes people show signs that something's wrong even if they don't talk about it. Maybe a normally upbeat friend seems sad, worried, or distracted. Perhaps a friend has lost interest in hanging out or doing stuff. Maybe someone you know avoids school or has falling grades. Changes like these are often signs that something's going on. It may not be sexual harassment or bullying (things like mood swings or changes in eating habits can be signs of many different things). But it is a chance for you to ask if everything's OK.

Removal of online imagery

If you’re under the age of 18 and a nude image or video of you has been shared online, you can report it to be removed from the internet

The Childline website provides full details on the process to help you do this:

: Remove a nude image shared online | Childline

Offering friends/strangers paid lifts in your car

While it is the right thing to do to offer to be the designated driver if you’re planning a night out with friends or family, you need to be mindful that offering paid lifts for friends and strangers may pose some risks for you.

It is illegal for you to offer people lifts in exchange for money as this effectively means that you are operating a taxi service. This means that not only would you risk being fined, but your insurance might also be invalidated which means that you wouldn’t be covered in case of an accident.

It is tempting to try and earn some extra cash by offering lifts, but you do need to be mindful of the dangers relating to your safety and well-being especially if you are giving lifts to strangers.

Run, hide, tell information

Fortunately, incidents in college when the Run, Hide, Tell information is necessary are extremely rare in the UK, but you do need to be aware of what to do if you are facing a dangerous situation.

RUN
• Escape if you can
• Consider the safest options
• Is there a safe route? RUN if not HIDE
• Can you get there without exposing yourself to greater danger?
• Insist others leave with you
• Leave belongings behind

HIDE
• If you cannot RUN, HIDE
• Find cover from gunfire
• If you can see the attacker, they may be able to see you
• Cover from view does not mean you are safe, bullets go through glass, brick, wood, and metal
• Find cover from gunfire e.g. substantial brickwork / heavy reinforced walls
• Be aware of your exits
• Try not to get trapped
• Be quiet, silence your phone and turn off vibrate
• Lock / barricade yourself in
• Move away from the door

TELL
• Call 999 - What do the police need to know? If you cannot speak or make a noise listen to the instructions given to you by the call taker

• Location - Where are the suspects?
• Direction - Where did you last see the suspects?
• Descriptions – Describe the attacker, numbers, features, clothing, weapons etc.
• Further information – Casualties, type of injury, building information, entrances, exits, hostages etc.
• Stop other people entering the building if it is safe to do so

Hopefully, you will never need to use this information, but remembering these simple instructions may save your life.

Safe Outdoor Swimming

As hopefully the warm weather continues into the summer holidays, it is tempting to swim in open waters to cool off especially as we are blessed with a number of these sites in and around our county. However, we must be vigilant to the dangers that this activity poses.

Circa 400 people drown each year in the UK - tragically many these are young males. 44% of drownings occur between May and August and 62% of the fatalities occur at inland water sites such as rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and quarries.

With the restrictions on overseas travel, we believe that there will be many more young people seeking to find places where they can enjoy water-based activities near their homes during the warmer weather and summer holidays. Whilst supportive of people enjoying the water, we are keen to raise awareness of the potential hazards associated with some inland waters such as quarry lakes.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) recently ran the National Drowning Prevention Week. As part of this campaign, they have produced some great resources to help promote key water safety messages. These resources focus on giving you the skills and knowledge you need to enjoy the water, safely.

More information can be found from these links:

www.rlss.org.uk/drowning-prevention-week

www.rlss.org.uk/pages/category/sharing-drowning-prevention-week

www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/respectthewater

rnli.org/pages/ppc/beach-safety/beach-safe-float?gclid=Cj0KCQjw2tCGBhCLARIsABJGmZ53SN-wT1SHcTWhf1kH3ld9qqceKOxbsxAY2Zg0VRvaTic5HMbwHSUaAhQpEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds>

Safeguarding Cover over the Summer holidays

During the summer months, there is a limited safeguarding service available through the college during normal college hours (Mon - Fri 8.30am until 4pm). Out of hours support is available and further details can be accessed here:

Safeguarding | Shrewsbury Colleges Group (scg.ac.uk)