Roles of Victims of Sexual Harassment in Society

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It is long since sexual harassment and assault has become a major social vice occurring not just in Australia but around the world and the consequences leave victims physically and mentally traumatized. In fact, victims are usually isolated, despised by society and seen as outcasts. Sexual harassment can take place in all ages, in any environment e.g. at workplaces, schools, vehicles, anywhere where culprits think they are in safe and cannot be caught ( lack of people present, higher ratio sex offenders compared to the victim…) . Regrettably, a vast majority of the victims of this problem are women.

According to the Australian Bureau Statistics, there were 24,957 cases of sexual assault occurring in all states of Australia in 2017, which has increased by 8% compared to 2016. In addition, with the revelation of Queensland Police, 2017-2018 had 6318 cases of sexual harassment in Queensland, with the Southern area accounting for 1413 cases. These significant numbers indicate that there is no sign of sexual assault decreasing in the near future!

It is easily observable that there is inequal treatment between victims and perpetrators. ‘’ Liar ‘’, ‘’ mentally unstable ‘’ or ‘’ a shame ‘’ are powerful words that people use to ridicule the victims in many scenarios of sexual harassment and assault ; whilst all the behaviors of perpetrators are passed off as misunderstandings. Therefore, this preconception – victims are all wrong, in other words, victim – blaming, resulting in severely negative consequences such as long-term depression or even extreme measures for sufferers.

This is a story of Laura Hartnell – a victim of the sexual assault for several years when she was still a teenager. This fear was an unforgettable memory full of unbridled guilt; the torment she felt was bolstered by the prejudice she faced. Nothing was worse than being rejected by her relatives, the ones who she trusted the most had cut her deeply as her family was torn apart by the incident happening beyond expectation. At the same time, a sex offender was not punished properly.

‘’ Why didn’t you fight him ? ‘’, ‘’ Why didn’t you scream ? ‘’ or ‘’ Why didn’t you tell us earlier? ‘’- she recalled. These cold, harsh questions and judgements were given to pull her down instead of giving sympathetic and comforting words which she really needed the most at that time . Fortunately, somehow a young girl in that same year overcame the prejudice and became an independent freelance writer who fights against the injustice on behalf of sexual assault victims.

Regarding Laura’s story, from a logical standpoint, it is clearly unreasonable that victims – who were at no fault whatsoever for the crime committed, being a target for people to comment and remark how wrong they are. Specifically, we can imagine how annoying that we cannot dress, cannot speak out for demands. No one has any privileges to judge or criticize other’s business. We often ask ‘’ Why did she dress like that ? ‘’ when the girl was murdered and raped in a public park or ‘’ How much did she drink yesterday ? ‘’ for an adolescence who were raped at the party. For clarity, simply let’s think she likes that outfit because it helps her to be confident when she goes out, does not mean she dresses for the purpose of being raped. Why we do not think a girl in the party just joins in a happy atmosphere with friends so that she drinks, does not mean to be sexually assaulted.

Dr Nina Burrowes, a psychologist suggests that sometimes people tend to blame the victims because it just easier to, they are scared of the story and want to feel safe; they believe that it is always the victims that are careless because they ‘’ let ‘’ this happen to them. Moreover, the perpetrators will be try their best to make the victims feel guilty and ashamed so that they do not denounce them to the police.

On the whole, victims of heinous acts such as sexual harassment and assault are disadvantaged when it comes to human rights because of a lack of empathy and constantly being marginalized by hurtful words. Thus, we need to be factual and impartial dealing with sexual assault to avoid social vices which will lead to unexpected results.

Cite this paper

Roles of Victims of Sexual Harassment in Society. (2020, Nov 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/roles-of-victims-of-sexual-harassment-in-society/

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