It’s no secret that sexual harassment happens. If you log on to any social media platform, you’re bound to see countless stories of brave women sharing their experiences. Visit Twitter.com and insert “#metoo” into the search engine bar. Not only are the stories heart-breaking and unbelievable, in most of these cases, no justice was served. I
Most recently in Hollywood, many actresses and a few actors have bravely come forward and exposed the ones who were sexually offensive and abusive. Some of the most unlikely figureheads lost their platforms in record time. As Hollywood makes the shift in changing the protocol that allows the abuse, the rest of Americans are taking note of what to do in the home, workplace and church.
In the workplace, the felony statistics reveal the need for education on protocol and repercussions. All individuals know that sexual assault is wrong. However, many people do it because they know they won’t get away with it. In many cases, sexual assault happens to women at the hands of men. Because there is a silent camaraderie amongst male cohorts in many workplaces, no one bats an eyelash and the woman is left feeling emotionally scarred and scared for her life.
Texas, Wisconsin and Oregon have the highest percentages of sexual misconduct per capita. In those states, workplace education on sexual misconduct isn’t required. In some cases, it’s encouraged, but it’s not enforced. This is why it’s not surprising to see the numbers where they are.
It’s safe to say that when workplaces don’t reinforce sexual misconduct education, they’re also not enforcing the rules regarding sexual misconduct. Their terrible practices not only end up endangering a potential victim. They also protect the predator. In order for the workplace to become a safe place where people can come and be productive, it’s important to implement a few standard practices.
As soon as an employee is hired by the company, they have to go through various training sessions. One of those training sessions needs to cover the topic of sexual assault. Once the training is over, the employee needs to sign an agreement with the understanding that if they don’t follow those rules, legal action will be enforced.
When a person first gets a job, they’re excited. In order to keep the job, they’ll sign all of the paperwork and move all the way through the system. However, if sexual misconduct happens, it is essential for the leaders to reinforce the consequences.
3. Listening Ear
Many people who experience sexual assault don’t come forward because of fear. They’re afraid of being called a liar. They’re afraid of the exposure. This is why it’s important for leaders to make sure the workplace is always a safe space. It needs to be understood that there is no room for sexual abuse of any kind. Being available to listen and take action are wise steps for any leader to take.