3. If the problem persists, consider telling the harasser directly that his sexual harassment makes you feel uncomfortable. Another possible strategy is to send a formal letter to the harasser, describing your objections to the incident, and stating clearly that you want the actions to stop. Many harassment policies cannot be legally applied unless the harasser has been informed that the behavior is unwanted and inappropriate.
4. Keep records of all occurrences, and keep copies of all correspondence.
5. If the problem persists, report it to the appropriate officials on campus. An institution that takes no action is responsible if another act of harassment occurs after an incident is reported.
6. Join a feminist group on campus, or help to start one. A strong support group can encourage real empowerment, reduce the chances that other students will experience sexual harassment, and help to change campus policy on this important issue.
How Men Can Help
Avoid behaviors that might be perceived as sexual harassment
1. In many cases, children can provide accurate testimonies about how they have been abused sexually (for instance, by a stranger), and they resist "remembering" false information that someone presented to them.
2. In some cases, people who have truly experienced childhood sexual abuse may forget about the abuse for decades. Later, they may suddenly recover that memory. This recovered memory is especially likely when the abuser was a close relative or other trusted adult.
3. In some other cases, a therapist, a relative, or another person can implant misinformation about child sexual abuse, and an individual can mistakenly "remember" it. This false memory is especially likely when the misinformation is plausible and when it focuses on relatively trivial details. Unfortunately, however, some individuals can “remember” an elaborate history of child abuse that did not actually happen.
1. Professionals who work with children need to be alert for evidence of child sexual abuse. Schools also need to teach children about the sexual-abuse problem.
2. Hospitals and medical providers should be sensitive to the emotional and physical needs of girls and women who have been raped.
3. Laws must be reformed so that the legal process is less stressful and more supportive for the victims.
4. Education about rape needs to be improved, beginning in junior high or high school. Rape-prevention programs must emphasize that men can control their sexual impulses and that women are not to be blamed for rape.
5. Men’s groups must become more involved in rape prevention.
6. Violence must be less glorified in the media.
7. Ultimately, our society must direct more attention toward the needs of women.
The Abuse of Women
How Often Does the Abuse of Women Occur?
20-35% of women in the United States and Canada will experience abuse during their lifetime (2-3 million women each year)