Sexual harassment is a burden on society

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Sexual harassment is a burden on society

Harvey Weinstein was accused by many women of sexual harassment in 2017.

Harvey Weinstein was accused by many women of sexual harassment in 2017.

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Harvey Weinstein was accused by many women of sexual harassment in 2017.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein was accused by many women of sexual harassment in 2017.

Fatima Sayed Eltayeb, Staff Writer

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Sexual assault and harassment are terms that are often confused with each other. They possess different meanings but they both are used with the same intention, to hurt someone.

The term sexual assault refers to sexual behavior or contact that is unwanted and occurs without consent. Sexual harassment, however, is the behavior of making inappropriate and unwanted sexual remarks or physical advances.
Sexual harassment and assault can come in different forms, from unwanted touching to rape. Even asking someone in attempts to receive sexual favors is considered sexual harassment.

Sexual violence has been an insidious problem for decades. It’s extremely prevalent to hear about sexual crimes. A majority of the time, the accused are men and the accusers are women. Furthermore, according to Rewire.org, harassment complaints by women have increased by 40% and only 15% for men in the last 20 years.

Many have wondered why reports of sexual violence have increased. A huge rationale would have to be the “Me Too” movement. It is a movement against sexual assault and harassment. It encourages victims to speak out against the sexual violence that they’ve endured.

This movement was launched in 2006 by the founder Tarana Burke but was popularized in 2017 over twitter. “Me Too” grew following the sexual abuse allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. It has greatly influenced the amount of people who are coming forward on social media. Everyday more and more accusations are thrown out on social media from men and women who say that they’ve been victims of sexual crimes.

This movement brings a positive change in the community regarding sexual assault and harassment. More men and women are realizing how common sexual assault is in the workplace, on college campuses and at parties.
According to womenshealth.gov, about 40% of women who have been raped, have been assaulted before the age of 18. After the “Me Too” movement, a national discussion sparked regarding sexual harassment and assault. A survey was taken and revealed that 81% of women have experienced sexual harassment.

Two celebrities that are commonly thought of when it comes to sexual assault are Bill Cosby and R. Kelly.
Over 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault. In the last year a six-part Lifetime documentary came out exposing R&B singer, R. Kelly. Many allegations were made against him and this shows that even your favorite singers or actors can be oppressors.

Actresses such as Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie, Gwenyth Paltrow and Cara Delevigne have spoken out about their sexual assault and harassment stories.

When famous figures as such come out and discuss what’s happened to them it encourages men and women who have endured the same pain to tell their own individual story.

A majority of victims are still hesitant to speak out about their experiences in fear that they’ll be called liars or attention seekers.

Sexual violence could easily be limited if men and women knew and understood how to respect people’s boundaries and limitations. It is unfair that women can’t go to the gym or work without the fear of being harassed or assaulted.

At the end of the day, no matter the situation, if it’s unwanted or consent is not given it is sexual abuse. Women and men shouldn’t have to live in fear because certain people cannot control themselves.

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