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Sexual harassment. A guide to this accusation in the UK from ABV’s sexual offence solicitor
28 Jul 2021

Usually associated with the workplace, sexual harassment has become a hot button issue in recent years.

And, should you find yourself being accused of committing sexual harassment in the workplace or another environment, it may be wise to pre-emptively seek legal representation. Under UK law, sexual harassment is not a crime in itself, but there are certain aspects of it that are considered criminal and which we will discuss in more depth later.

At ABV Solicitors, our sexual offence solicitor can defend you should you find yourself accused of committing sexual assault. They have extensive knowledge of this thorny and sensitive legal area and will ensure that all misunderstandings are clarified and that your side of the story is heard. They will also endeavour to have any charges against you dropped (if necessary) and will also advise you on how to prevent these accusations from occurring again.

So, what is sexual harassment and which aspects of it can lead to an arrest in the UK? Our sexual offence solicitor provides the following guide.

What is sexual harassment?

According to our sexual offence solicitor, sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour that has an underlying sexual element to it.

And, as you can imagine, it is linked to the workplace, but can also involve friends, neighbours or even family members.

To be considered sexual harassment, the behaviour must cause someone to feel intimidated or threatened, violate their dignity or create a hostile environment.

So, if you have been accused of this act, contact our team for advice.

Which elements can cause me to be arrested?

As mentioned before, sexual harassment is rarely dealt with by the police and is generally not seen as a criminal matter yet in the UK.

But, for instance, should sexual harassment lead to sexual assault or rape, then this is obviously a crime.

Should it lead to indecent photos being taken (such as upskirting) then this a criminal offence and can result in prison time. Unwanted flirting is not an offence, but certain comments made may be seen as threatening.

Is there a fine or prison time linked to it?

For sexual assault, there is a maximum jail time of 10 years in custody; rape can be from 4 years to life imprisonment depending on the variables surrounding the crime.

As of 2019, upskirting is also a criminal offence (linked to voyeurism) and if you have been accused of it, you may face up to 2 years imprisonment.

There are also fines that may accompany these detainments, which are usually of an undetermined amount; they are typically based on the severity of the crime.

I haven’t done anything wrong; do I need your help?

If you have been accused of sexual assault, rape or upskirting, then you will need legal representation.

At ABV Solicitors, we have handled many cases pertaining to sexual offence or assault and will offer you legal advice free from judgement in plain English. Should your case go to court, we will also represent you.

What is rape under UK law? A simplified guide from our sexual offence solicitor at ABV

A brief introduction to rape as an offence