What to do about sexual harassment? Watch

ThomH97
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#1
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The BBC have been running a bunch of stories recently regarding sexual harassment, and this is one with actual accounts from members of the public writing in. There's some advice at the bottom for victims, copied from a previous article which also includes suggestions for bystanders should they want to help out. From the examples in the more recent article, I'd like to discuss what could be done to prevent it in future, if anything can be done.

Ignoring the obvious issue of using incidents from 40+ years ago, maybe in a different country, and pretending society hasn't progressed, we can still look at the examples.

Firstly, we have quite a lot of examples where incidents weren't reported to the police. The reason given is usually fearing they won't be believed. This may or may not be true, but is a poor reason to not report something, and the people discouraging victims from reporting by saying the police won't believe them need to really think if what they're doing is responsible behaviour or not. Take the flashers in Ruth from Kent's account. Sure, the police aren't going to catch someone just because a little girl reports one instance and probably doesn't do a great job of describing him, but if enough victims report him then the police can build a better picture, perhaps a pattern of behaviour and then capture him. They can't do that if everyone's being told not to bother reporting. This seems to be the biggest issue that can be rectified.

Second, we have people being stalked. So the criminal has chosen singular victims rather than flashing whoever. This is potentially much more serious, but also probably more difficult for the police to do anything about. They'd need to identify the stalker in the first place in order to keep them away from their intended victims, and the description is probably not going to be very thorough. In Aggie's second example, perhaps the bus would have CCTV that could help. I think the police advice to make herself more difficult to follow is the best they could do that wouldn't potentially aggravate the stalker. Ideally she'd use her phone to film the guys stalking her, then approach them to get a better image of their faces, but no way are the police going to suggest something so dangerous. But should they?

We also have the stories of very public harassment, such as rubbing on public transport and shouting stuff from vehicles as they drive past a victim. These are potentially very easy to sort out. On public transport, you'll generally have CCTV (Ruth's example was from 40+ years ago) of some kind which will help identify individuals should you make a complaint, and following the advice at the bottom of the article to call out the perpetrator so bystanders are aware would at least stop the harassment from continuing, even if bystanders hadn't noticed it happening initially. For drive-bys you just need their license plate and some impartial witnesses, and then finding them is as easy as when you send someone a speeding ticket. Obviously it's a bit more of a pain for the victim to ask enough witnesses to give their details to corroborate her story, but some guidelines by the police would be helpful.

Lastly, we have Ibi who feels ashamed as a man because his daughter was being harassed. While I sympathise with his daughter and wish she were not victimised in such a way, I do not see why Ibi as a man has anything to be ashamed of just because he is slightly more similar in physiology to the perpetrators than the victims.
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username521617
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I've been hearing about this topic over the radio (BBC) and I find it incredibly frustrating that it's practically always about women and not everyone.

Yesterday on the Now Show they were talking about how 80% of women have received 'unwanted sexual attention' and 60% have 'felt unsafe walking home.' I found myself thinking "OK, and what is it for men?" But they never mentioned men or made any sort of comparison. I'm a man. I've had unwanted sexual attention before. I've felt unsafe walking home before. Doesn't my experience count? Am I not actually statistically more likely to be the victim of a street crime in the first place, making me statistically less 'safe' walking home?
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
I've been hearing about this topic over the radio (BBC) and I find it incredibly frustrating that it's practically always about women and not everyone.

Yesterday on the Now Show they were talking about how 80% of women have received 'unwanted sexual attention' and 60% have 'felt unsafe walking home.' I found myself thinking "OK, and what is it for men?" But they never mentioned men or made any sort of comparison. I'm a man. I've had unwanted sexual attention before. I've felt unsafe walking home before. Doesn't my experience count? Am I not actually statistically more likely to be the victim of a street crime in the first place, making me statistically less 'safe' walking home?
Back of the class with you....go on......in the corner 😠
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