Harvey Weinstein’s actions are unconscionable. Brought to light by a group of brave actresses and employees, Weinstein’s sexual assault allegations are many and heinous. Unfortunately, this incident is not isolated. This pattern of sexual assault and harassment extends far beyond the reaches of the Weinstein Company and harms many people, including community members at CSB/SJU.
Many people, both women and men, who have been sexually assaulted never file an official report to the police. An estimated 63 percent of all sexual assault cases are never formally filed, according to the National Sexual Assault Resource Center. Many of the people who never file charges find it difficult
or traumatic to remember the exact details of their assault, and many others fear the fractious nature of their allegations will influence their friends or family.
One in four women in the workplace will experience some type of harassment. The number of women who do not report sexual assault in the workplace is significantly higher than in other places, typically ranging to somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of workplace harassment complaints go unreported. Fear of career destruction or being labeled a snitch are powerful forces that stop women in particular from reporting these incredibly destructive crimes.
Many people today have a “not in my backyard” mentality when it comes to instances of assault, either in the workplace or at home. People, in Harvey Weinstein’s camp, like Lindsay Lohan, are quick to point out the positive features of the person accused.
They provide flimsy character evidence, effectively undermining the victim and their experiences. These character defenses, while impassioned, are rarely accurate.
According to three cross-sectional studies (Lonsway, Archambault, & Lisak, 2009, Lisak et al., 2010, Heenan and Murray 2006), the rate of false reporting for sexual assault lies anywhere between 2.1 and 7.1 percent. This is not a large enough rate to immediately rush to the defense of the accused; each case must be taken extremely seriously.
Furthermore, based on standard police procedure, many people who have been sexually assaulted are told their stories are false because of problems
remembering exact details of the traumatic event. This indicates that the rate may be even lower than is reported.
We at CSB/SJU can do something about this prevalent, harmful workplace culture. Being a community, when we see our peers, family, friends and strangers being harassed, we can take action.
The parties and Link rides today are the conference rooms and offices of the future. As future businesspeople, we can set examples for the workplace of tomorrow, today.
The community of CSB/SJU can be a part of the larger force that ends sexual harassment, not only in the workplace, but in the home office, and wherever we see it.
This is the opinion of Nathan Williams, SJU junior