A delicate balance:
The simplest definition of these undesirable behaviors is that if it feels wrong, it probably is!
If you’re thinking about it. In a crisis, who do I turn to? You’re not by yourself.
Let’s face it: proving an alleged assault, harassment, or pedophilia can be difficult. When reporting these crimes, an in-depth description is required. It can cause people to be afraid of admitting they have been victims of a crime or inappropriate behavior because of threats to their lives, families, jobs, and careers.
Soon after the [Mee-Too] movements emerged, executives and TV personalities were fired, and other popular television shows were canceled after it was revealed that their stars had participated in questionable behavior.
According to reports, there have been million-dollar settlements in harassment cases, many portraits removed from buildings, honorary degrees revoked, and awards revoked, but these actions will not change this systematic behavior.
The reality is that if caught, some will return to work after a cooling-off period. These accused offenders are frequently wealthy and can afford to be unemployed for the rest of their lives.
Few cameras may have been turned off today, but has anything changed, particularly for those without a voice? Unfortunately, her story may necessitate not only an extra lens but also an ear for details.
Individuals are frequently victims of a bad date or street harassment. Harassment and assault, on the other hand, know no bounds.
These cases’ complexities continue to rage like an ocean, especially where social taboos ranging from what you eat and drink to relationships around the world can cause emotional aversion in a variety of cultures.
As more women, and in fewer cases, men, come forward to report their stories, these victims deserve your support and resources to upgrade outdated laws to protect them.
Unfortunately, despite this new push to terminate and cancel these powerful individuals, the reality is that many other women and, as previously stated, fewer men in poor and developing countries have been looking for me for decades, and even up to the present day.
Sexual misconduct is not limited to refugee camps where women have fled violence, sexual exploitation, and other atrocities. The alleged assault and harassment extend beyond the corporate board of directors and multi-million dollar productions.
I am not here to single out any country, but I am hoping that when you look back or have someone in your life who has been a victim, you will find a way to offer some support, which is a delicate balance.
Furthermore, without implying that there is a declining standard or that no laws are in place to combat this issue, it appears that a compulsive urge driven by what is popular has promoted detachment.
For many female victims, the issues of sexuality and what constitutes bad behavior remain a delicate balance.
Does this sound familiar?
(1) One woman reported that during her annual checkup at her local doctor’s office, she was inappropriately fondled and complimented on her underwear while alone in his office, as her medical issues seemed less important.
(2) This morning, she may not want to talk about inappropriate behavior. He is well-known, wealthy, and influential, and no one dares to question his behavior. He is also the only person who has access to critical medication, so to whom do you report the incident?
3) The other sexually assaulted, threatened if she speaks up. A check was provided to stay quiet. Later she was notified to give it back and prove the incident.
4) She was fired from her only job in her late 50s and was unable to find work because potential employers were hesitant to hire someone who had filed these claims.
(5) She is now 16 years old, pregnant, and has dropped out of school: Her child’s father is a powerful community figure who denies the relationship, but who will listen if she believes she was raped?
These are just a few real-life stories from one of my two-day conferences, which were designed to inspire, challenge, and change course.
These issues are prevalent in your workplace, whether it is a call center, a school, a movie theater, or, yes, politics, a place of worship, a grocery store, a home, a dance floor, or a street corner. However, if the community and the system of protection only recognize a victim as a friend, then an assault, harassment, or even rape can be minimized.
A paradigm shift is required:
I understand: Because of the potential for a local domino effect, some people with the power to inspire much-needed change sometimes leave these stories alone. The silliness that this person does not appear to be an abuser should not result in silence based on one’s socioeconomic status or those aligned with our religious or political ideology.
When victims come forward, not only are their careers jeopardized, but they are frequently re-victimized and stigmatized.
It is our responsibility, from human resources to local authorities, supervisors, the community, and elected leaders, to protect those who speak out about their ordeals.
Communities can express public disagreements and approach leaders on these issues, but no accountability, resources, or action simply gives the perpetrators more power.
These stories of inappropriate widespread sexual advances, harassment, and even rape by powerful men demand more than just political cover and/or photo-ops. Accountability, enforcement, and a comprehensive approach are required.
Furthermore, even in rape cases, local law enforcement requires community assistance and resources to quickly close these cases.
According to studies, every 95 seconds, a woman is harassed, raped, or abused, particularly in poor and developing countries. Being targeted on public transportation, a private taxi, job training, or a classroom setting can have serious consequences if not addressed properly..
Today, more women are speaking out on a variety of social, economic, and equality issues. Because no one is immune to sexual misconduct, this will give others who are still looking for courage, fairness, justice, and leadership a voice.
Personal responsibility and accountability are essential in how the community mitigates these issues, whether it is a movie producer, an actor, an unemployed person on the corner calling students who walk by, a business owner, law enforcement, politicians, or teachers.
These issues, which are normally kept hidden, necessitate a paradigm shift because they can no longer be attributed to culture or an antiquated system.
Grace Jones, a Jamaican-born actor and singer, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that when she was younger and auditioned for a movie role, she was approached for sexual favors before being accepted.
She remembered throwing a drink at him and exited the room. No other woman has her strength or tenacity. Although Grace Jones escaped, many others remained for economic reasons and even fear of further violence, refusing to speak out.
Upward mobility, gender equity, and equality do not eliminate male chauvinism. In many areas, it remains a barrier, whether consciously or unconsciously. As a result, harassment, which frequently leads to assaults, may appear normal.
Sexual harassment and assault are more than a local politician showing up at a crime scene, taking a few pictures with a victim, promising your vote, or posting it on social media as if no one cares with little or no resources to follow through..
Our communities would benefit more if residents demanded more from their elected officials. The typical 24-hour news cycle can raise awareness, but it cannot provide a strategy for dealing with the real issues:
Though women’s unity-social-media tags are important, it cannot change course for a tangible solution if there are no action or follow-up policies.
It’s like putting a person of color in a company to be able to say, “Right now, we’re diverse,” when the toxic culture remains the same.
Collaboration will remain critical.
When victims muster the courage to come forward to describe their stories, regardless of race, gender, religious belief, or socioeconomic status, they should not be concerned about how their families will be supported in the event of retaliation.
In altering the course of events for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. A majority of victims tend to stay on their jobs, and while other employees may be aware of these incidents, a majority tends to remain silent to minimize the risk to their jobs in order to save their own economic survival.
It is critical to have fundamental support in order to further reduce stigma. These stories will assist society and future generations in defining what is acceptable.
Creating new policies and highlighting these stories instills confidence in the next generation by raising awareness, allowing victims to speak up.
It also reduces potential crimes, improves overall public safety, modernizes communities, and reduces psychological harm, particularly for those who lack adequate resources.s.
We can no longer afford for these crimes to be short-lived in comparison to the sensationalism of global news headlines that sometimes only serve to promote division; socially, culturally, and economically that has little or no impact on local structural issues but receives more attention.
Sexual harassment and assaults, regardless of location, require more than social media likes or retweets to create a mental shift on this behavior.
Whether flying, driving, or relaxing, staying connected to one’s culture, heritage, dancing, or working, this is a global issue. Even if it is difficult, we must sometimes rise from the comfort of our hammocks and offer our voices in order to make a difference.
I hope that leaders and advocates with the platform and power will continue to use it wisely in their respective communities, even if it is only to protect one new victim.