This is when a member of the nursing team (including students on placement) is sexually harassed by a client, patient or member of the public, whilst at work. You can read further guidance in our publication, Third Party Sexual Harassment.
Sexual harassment can take several forms including:
- inappropriate touching
- unwanted sexual advances
- the use of social medial to share offensive images
- sexual assault.
Always report every incident including harassment, even if it may seem minor, using your employer’s incident reporting procedures. Keep a record of all instances of harassment. Please also see our section above on what to do if you have been assaulted.
The RCN expects employers to treat all reports of harassment or assault seriously and to take appropriate steps as set out in the section on Employer’s duties above, in order to protect their staff. Further information can be found in our Prioritising Personal Safety guide.
Please contact us for support. Support may include immediate advice on what to do, access to counselling services and advice in pursuing a legal claim or, where applicable, NHS injury benefit. Also, if you are concerned about how your employer is handling a situation of sexual assault or harassment, please contact us.
If you require support concerning any sexual violence, you can contact Rape Crisis and their helpline number is 0808 802 9999. Safeline offer a number of services. The RCN also offers an appointment based counselling service (please note this is not a crisis service).