Sexual Harassment is Too Prevalent in Our Society


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Provided by Education Resource Development Trust

Leyla Gomez, Staff Writer

A matter of weeks ago, Everitt Middle School was faced with a sexual harassment lawsuit that quaked the media with it’s exposure of “slap ass Friday” and “titty touch Tuesday.”

Multiple former Everitt students weren’t surprised and took to Facebook to make their own comments and tell their stories of Everitt’s uncomfortable environment. A past female student even went as far to say “FINALLY THEY NOTICE. Everitt is part of the reason I’m so messed up.”

The reality here is, it’s not the sexual harassment that’s the surprise, it’s how long it’s

taken to uncover it. Sexual harassment is a problem kept in the shadows; up to 63% of assaults are not reported. The lack of reports isn’t even the only problem; women are more commonly targeted in sexual harassment and many men are not aware

Every woman is groomed through life to protect herself; put your keys in between your fingers in case you need to defend yourself, park under a light in a dark parking lot, always check your backseat when you get in the car, always be aware of your surroundings. This has become a culture almost exclusive to women. Not to say men haven’t experienced harassment as well, but according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, there’s an astonishing 1 in 5 women being harassed compared to 1 in 71 men. 

Exposure to sexual harassment has no age limit either. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are exposed to sexual abuse before the age of 18. Over ⅓ of those girls report sexual abuse following adulthood. Considering all the cases that are never reported, these numbers are even higher. One critical issue is disbelief. Lots of people who come forward about their abuse are frowned upon in incredulity. Regardless of some cases possibly being false, sexual harassment and assault should be taken seriously in all accounts because people and their bodies are not toys of objectification. Even worse, that doubt can come from all angles, such as parents, friends, even authorities. There are numerous accounts of women and girls being told they aren’t believable because their story is too detailed. Yet traumatic events tend to be the most terribly memorable. If victims can’t even put their hope into authorities, then what do they have other than silence? 

After two random people were asked how they would feel in a dark, empty parking lot setting, the female immediately said she would feel uneasy and follow the safety procedures above. The male, unfazed, quite literally said, “Well, I don’t feel like I would get sexually harassed. I mean, I’m a male”. The female proceeded to open up to me about a serious and constant sexual harassment experience with her previous boss, which I didn’t even find surprising because it’s an extremely common occurrence that I’ve encountered myself and heard many stories of.

 Nonetheless, both agreed that people should be educated on sexual harassment because messed up things happen in our messed up world. Not only did the students agree, but Josh Cooley agrees as well. He too, was blind to this sexual harassment culture until he had a daughter of his own. He believes students can be educated by opening dialogue on this serious issue and allow people to feel comfortable speaking up to raise overall awareness.