Addressing the Issue: Sexual Harassment and Assault
Ending sexual harassment and assault should be pursued vigorously because of the prevalent rate and its contribution to social issues of oppression, lack of power, and helplessness. Perpetrators of sexual harassment or assault use intimidation and manipulation to establish control and power over their victims. Because women are shown as unequal, powerless, and weak in the media, men may believe that sexual harassment and assault is an acceptable way to treat and control women. It is difficult to completely end sexual harassment and violence, but there are ways to increase the public’s awareness of the nature and extent of sexual violence and in turn decrease its occurrence. Through public awareness programs, demonstrations, and passing laws, there is a chance that this issue will no longer exist.
There has always been a women’s movement, on some scale, but it was finally promoted with even greater vigor during the feminist rebellion in the sixties and seventies along with the civil rights movement. Women started to stand up against rigid gender roles that placed them in a subordinate and restricted place in society. It was because of organized feminist protest that the suffrage movement eventually earned women the right to vote; a crucial change for women's liberation. By applying this pressure, however, protesters were often met with physical violence.
Sexual harassment and assault is a pervading problem in the United States, particularly for the victims who suffer from abuse. Research shows that ninety-five percent of victims are female and ninety-five percent of perpetrators are male (Busch & Valentine). Furthermore, one out of three American women experience at least one physical assault in their lifetime and 22% to 35% of women in the emergency room is the result of assault (Kubany et al.). Women who are sexually harassed and assaulted are likely to suffer from many problems such as...