Developing bystander responses to sexual harassment among young people: Background paper on Malta

(…) It can be seen that some school/education policies focusing on violence prevention do exist, albeit not explicitly in relation to the prevention of sexual harassment. The topic is tackled during PSCD classes throughout primary and secondary schools, but, again, there seems to be no coherent approach although there is an awareness of different techniques/forms of violence prevention programmes. The main issue raised is that there is no uniform approach on how the policies are implemented in schools and that there is a need for further training of school staff to learn and implement the prevention techniques better. Policies that are currently being discussed/planned seem promising, but at this stage it is not yet clear what they will look like once finalised.


Developing bystander responses to sexual harassment among young people: Background research

This paper is a background research on sexual harassment (SH) in Portugal. We begin with an analysis of SH as a public issue describing the law, data and research. Then we present an overview about feminist campaigns and interventions, as well as political and media debates on SH. We also described the main aspects of the Portuguese educational system emphasizing the educational policies on civic and sex education. These are the two areas where SH can be included in school curriculum and policies. We end this paper summarizing the main points of this background research.


Developing bystander responses to sexual harassment among young people: Background research

This text represents a background research on current legal and state policies on sexual harassment in schools in Slovenia. It is reviewing the legal position on sexual harassment and existing protocols and policies on sexual harassment at the level of secondary school system.

In the introductory part, the general features of the education system at the primary and secondary level are described. The chapters that follow review policies on sexual harassment in schools, eventual discussions in the media, research on sexual harassment in schools, and the way how (eventual) intervention programs work.


Sexual Harassment in Schools: the UK Context

The issue of sexual harassment was raised first in the 1980s, linked to wider attempts to address sexism in schools, which spanned the curriculum and behaviours in schools (Duncan, 1999; Halson, 1992; Herbert, 1999; Spender and Sarah, 1980). Initially sexual harassment was understood as a gendered issue, but was later eclipsed by a focus on bullying, promoted by children’s charities and several high profile organisations such as Kidscape, which developed and promoted interventions. The term ‘sexual bullying’ emerged as a way to reclaim a gendered focus. A number of feminists entered education studies, establishing the journal Gender and Education and within the academic field there are a number of key texts which explore gender in schools (Fulton, 1992; Jones and Mahoney, 1989; Paechter, 1998; Weiner and Arnot, 1990), and a smaller but strong literature on school based masculinities (Mac on Ghail, 1992; Skelton, 2001). There was more focus in the last two decades on the harassment of lesbian and gay young people (now widened to include trans) at school, through the work of Stonewall1 which undertook a number of national surveys.

Much ground was lost as gender as an equalities issue was overshadowed in equal opportunities politics in the 1990s.

Until the last two decades policy covered all of the UK, albeit implemented differently across the four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales). The Scottish parliament was established in 1998 and devolved administrations followed in Wales and Northern Ireland. The powers of these administrations have increased over time, although unevenly. The material on recent developments covered in this paper are primarily from England and Wales.