Sexual harassment in sport can result in loss of enjoyment, reduced participation, lack of development and an array of negative consequences for clubs and sporting associations (e.g. declining membership, poor reputation, and possible legal and financial costs). Everyone has the right to participate in sport in a safe and respectful environment without the threat of sexual harassment.

Information to help you understand the issue

Click here to go to the Sexual Harassment Interactive Scenario.

  • Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual attention and can involve:
    • physical contact
    • demeaning jokes
    • innuendo
    • displays of sexually explicit or offensive material
    • repeated requests to go out
    • and persistent questions about an individual's personal life.
  • Activities associated with sport often have complex inter-personal relationships with one person having power over others (e.g., team selection).
  • Sexual harassment is not just about sex and sexual harassment, it's also about exerting power over someone else.
  • Sexual harassment can involve participants, coaches and administrators. It can occur between men and women and people of the same sex.

Information for:

The Law

Sexual harassment is against the law although the extent that sports is covered by anti-discrimination legislation varies between Australian states and territories.

In some states and territories clubs are required by law to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment. If they don't, they may be legally responsible for the behaviour of their personnel and members.

For information about the sexual harassment of a young person, refer to 'Child protection'.