Sigh. This is a topic that needs to be had because apparently we dont talk about it enough. We only really address it when a story hits the news about a woman abused, raped and killed but then like every other story it dies down. These are the type of things we should never let die down. Stopping Sexual Harassment should constantly be in our faces.
I’m an advocate for sex positivity and it really makes no sense to me why anyone would force themselves on someone else. What goes through one’s mind when they see someone cry and begging and screaming “NO!!!” and they still force themselves on a person? Then they still want to go ahead and murder them as if they havent infringed on so many of their rights already.
Gender-based violence is such a common thing here in South Africa. More than one woman or girl child is raped and murdered every day here in South Africa. You have to ask yourself why. Why is femicide so prevalent here? The same men who have mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, some female in their lives that they love can also perform such heinous acts. But we can never really know why they do the things they do, the least we can do is work harder to educate, create awareness, protect women and children and others targeted in these acts and also find justice for all the victims and survivors.
I think what we need is constant awareness and education, in schools from the age teenagers start to have to intercourse. I know a lot of core values are taught at home but some environments are the reason for why rapists exist so maybe at schools there’s a better chance of teaching some things that would stick. And not just one talk once a year, but recurring talks, a constant reminder in every grade that is compulsory or maybe even integrated in the syllabus somehow.
Sexual harassment isnt just rape. It involves unwanted touching or gestures, requesting sexual favours, basing employment opportunities on sexual favours, and other sexual advances. Sometimes people dont know what is considered sexual harassment which is why education is so important, to young ones and should be continued as they grow. I found this website that provides information on sexual harassment that is helpful, here
Another way to possibly help reduce the incidence of sexual harrassment is TV ads, social media and content like movies and series and even music. The government needs to show people that they can trust the government to protect them and find justice for them. Many rape cases go unreported because usually women aren’t believed, theres this stigma that as a woman you probably did something to encourage what happened to you and women get this kind of treatment from the police they report to.
Another thing is knowing your rights. Knowing that if something happened to you whether it was your boss touching you inappropriately or your boyfriend forcing you to have sex with him, all those are reportable offenses. Sometimes women or those abused are afraid, afraid of the looks they will get, afraid of losing their stature or jobs, afraid of not being believed, afraid the abuser will get free anyway because usually they do. And you cant make that fear go away but I wish more people were inspired to step forward because silence let’s this sexual harassment prosper and continue.
Sexual harassment is a sensitive topic but it should be dealt with head on and loudly so that the abusers know they cant keep getting away with this and so that the victims know the world, the government, society is looking out for them. Educate yourself. If something doesnt feel right when you do it or the other person tells you no or that you made them feel uncomfortable, learn from that. It starts with each individual learning, passing on what they’ve learnt to their kids and their friends so that the world can be safe for women and children.
Sexual Harassment needs to stop! Because women and children dont deserve to feel unsafe and be sexualized, abused, raped, and murdered. There is no justification or world where that is okay.