Each day there seems to be a new allegation of sexual harassment on the news. I thought that is article was a really important conversation.
The flood of new allegations has caused many to ask: What counts as sexual harassment? While there is a general legal definition for the workplace, a national survey of U.S. adults conducted by Barna between October 19-25, 2017 (shortly after the original Weinstein report) asked American adults to identify specific acts that they consider to be harassment
Given the range of behaviors selected by Americans, it’s increasingly clear—to some, for the first time—how insidious the problem of sexual harassment is.
“The past few months have ushered in an unprecedented level of awareness and shock at the pervasive experience of sexual harassment,” says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief of Barna Group. “The revelations surrounding celebrities and politicians have opened up a floodgate for women especially, but men too, to acknowledge the ways in which they have experienced both subtle and overt forms of harassment in their workplaces, churches and social circles. The data bears this out: Nearly half of all American adults admit to experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment at some point in their lives. Four in 10 women say they have personally been victims of it.
I really love the challenge at the end of the article.
“Leaders in every level of society—from entertainment, to the marketplace, to politics, to churches—must honestly wrestle with this challenging issue and what it means for their institutions. Pastors and spiritual leaders, especially, must be ready to talk with their members: to hear the stories of the victims, to offer counseling services, to speak from the pulpit on the respect and humanization that gender equality really requires. Churches, with a message of brotherly and sisterly love, have an opportunity to be leaders in this disorienting conversation.”
I am hoping there is continued healing for people who have been harassed & sexually assaulted, I wrestle with what restoration might look like for people who have done the harassing & sexually assault, and I pray that through discussion, dialogue, and further education we can stem this tide of people being hurt physically, emotionally, and sexually in the future.
Love to hear further conversations, blogs and thoughts on this.