Back in October, a 37 year old medical student in London found himself on the wrong side of the law when his date sued him for indecent assault.
According to the facts of the case, the two met on internet dating platform Tinder. Although the lady had agreed to have sex with her date, she had categorically stated she didnt want her breasts fondled.
The young man without giving any thought to this arrangement did not object to it. However, during the process of having sex with the lady he is said to have not only grabbed her breast but did so excessively and violently.
That served as the basis of the lawsuit. Unfortunately for the youngman whose future career as a medical doctor is now in jeopardy, the magistrate who sat on the case had enough evidence to convict him.
Tbe youngman has been put on the sex offenders register and will stay on it for 5 years. In addition, he will serve 180 hours of community duties.
In giving his judgement the magistrate said ‘… this was an assault. Queree touched a sexual and intimate part of her body in a sexual manner without her consent.’
A couple of people who first read this story found it strange that such a suit could stand the test of the law. To some of these people, the fact that the lady had consented to sex meant she should be ready to take whatever came with it. However, the ruling respects the rights and control an individual has over his or her body.
This leads me to an important issue that has become a menace to society. This is the issue of sexual harrassment. Men and women are both prone to being sexually harrassed however, it is women who bear the brunt of this form of harrassment.
Sexual harrassment comes in many forms from inappropriate touching to sexual comments the other party would find offensive.
Though there are laws against sexual harrassment, not many victims of sexual harrassment are able to come forward. Justice for the sexually harrassed is often hindered by the culture in which the person finds him or herself.
In most of our workplaces today, it is very common to come across males and females sharing sexual comments and jokes. For an environment like that, such comments seem acceptable. You will find both the married and the unmarried engage in this kind of game. It, thus, makes it difficult for the young lady in the office who finds such jokes and comments offensive to voice it out. But the truth of the matter is that putting her at the end of that kind of inappropriate sexual jokes amounts to sexually harrassing her. We surely would tag her as arrogant and proud because there are other ladies at the workplace who find such comments acceptable and even funny. The fact that others find it ok does not mean it suits everyone. The individual’s right should be respected.
The sexual harrassment line is so thin it is quite easy to flip over it knowingly or unknowingly. In most societies, a man is supposed to persue a woman in order to profess love. However, this should be done with the interest of the woman in mind. Sexual harrassment adds a load of stress to its victims as these victims feel violated in so many ways.
Victims of sexual harrassment have a role to play in stopping this form of abuse. The first is not to keep quiet. By voicing out our experiences, we offer others important life lessons that will save them from also falling prey. Speaking up against the culprits also shames them and puts them in a situation where they have to pay for their crimes.
If you walk into an office seeking a job but the employer demands sex in exchange for the role, do not only reject his or her offer but speak up against it. You will save an innocent soul that may not have the will to stand his or her grounds. If your boss decides to make offensive sexual comments towards you or grabs you in an inappropriate sexual manner do not keep quiet. If you don’t stop him or her it will turn to a habit and soon a lot more people in the office would be victims.
The next point is to be firm in saying no. There is no nice way to reprimand a sexual harrasser. Do not make the mistake of trying to drop subtle notes so the fellow would know you are not interested. Sexual harrassers would delibrately ignore such subtle notes. A big firm ‘No’ is what you need to be saying.
More to the point, do not allow situations where people would doubt your story. Sexual harrassers would put you in situations where you will not have the confidence to report them. For example, despite the lewd remarks and the fact that he has been inappropriately touchy, a lot of people are aware of the lone times you two share at odd hours of the day. When finally you decide to report him, there is a high chance you will hold back out of fear your story would not be deemed credible.
Lastly, it is possible that with the wrong mindset we can lead ourselves into becoming victims of sexual harrassment. Due to benefits we can obtain from a known sexual harrasser, we fraternize and even try to accommodate their unacceptable actions.