Taking control of sexual harassment

Video by Coraline Pettine.

 

Sexual harassment is happening so often in this society, but many people do not know what to do in these situations. Whether you are male or female, when you are sexually harassed, it can be very confusing as to what to do.

Sexual harassment can be an unwanted behavior that can happen just one time.

This can happen at home, in the workplace or even in school. It can happen anywhere that there are two or more people with bad intentions. It is important to know the signs of sexual harassment and what you can do to protect yourself.

Signs of harassment

According to the U.S Equal Employment opportunity commission, harassment occurs is many different forms.

If someone flirts and it is unwanted, ask them to stop. If the individual does not stop, it is harassment.

Intimidation is another form of harassment. This usually happens when the harasser is older or has a higher position. Making someone feel pressured is harassment.

Inappropriate communication is also considered harassment. This can be online or through text. Whether it’s asking about one’s sexual life or referring someone to their owns, it is harassment.

Sexual harassment can also be occurring when the individual is afraid to ask questions. If this is going on, there is a possibility one is afraid to speak up or even question what may be going on.

Know your rights

Never be afraid of the unknown. If an individual feels that this is happening to them, it is important they know their rights. There are laws in place that makes sexual harassment unlawful.

Cabrini University has certain policies that fall into place when sexual misconduct happens.

Residence Life Assistant Director Akirah Fenimore said, “If this happens in a dorm, students should refer to the sexual misconduct policy online.”

If something like this happens in a classroom on campus, students should report the situation to Human Resources located in Grace Hall.

From there ,”Whoever filed the complaint has the choice to handle it formally or informally,” Title IX coordinator Susan Rohanna said.

Along with going to Human Resources at Cabrini, if you or a friend is harassed in the workplace, HR is who to go to in order to resolve the issue.

Where to get help

Human resources is not the only place students can seek refuge in. There is student life, counseling services and public safety.

When someone encounters sexual harassment or knows a friend of a person who has, it can be hard to decide who to talk to or where to go.

Counseling services will keep everything confidential unless there is potential harm to someone, the sessions are court ordered or if the individual reports current abuse.

Counseling services is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with walk-in hours are between noon and 1 p.m. If something happens after hours, students can contact public safety especially in case of an emergency.

Victim blaming

To some survivors, the aftermath of an attack can be worse than the sexual offense.

Tommi Wilkins, violence against women on campus grant coordinator at Cabrini University, said that when being victim blamed, “As humans, it is in our nature to look at the victim and ask questions.”

“What were you wearing?”

“Where were you?”

“Why did you not report it to the police?”

“What time was it?”

Wilkins said that none of these questions are appropriate because it is not wrong to be any age and naive.

It is never wrong to be kind and to think that others will not harm you. No one should have to withhold themselves from situations because they think that they will get physically harmed.

Perpetrators of sexual harassment and assault do it because they are empowered by causing physical harm to others.

Wilkins said, “What emboldens people to do it can be power.”

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