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Preventing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault"— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
Understand the problems and be a part of the solution For Study Abroad Students Presented by Callista Lee, M.S. California State Certified Sexual Assault Victims Counselor Volunteer for Community Service Programs of Orange County

2 Clarifying Sexual Harassment
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when… submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. (U.S. EEOC)

3 Colleges prohibit sexual harassment too
Between students Between staff Between students and staff The learning environment (both on and off-campus) is to be a safe and welcoming space for everyone. Refer to your college catalog for policies on student conduct.

4 Examples Written – suggestive or obscene letters, notes or posts
Verbal – derogatory comments, slurs, jokes, epithets Physical – touching, impeding movement, pulling at/off clothing Visual – spying, flashing, inappropriate pictures

5 Continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome.
Using one’s power over another to coerce sexual behavior

6 Impact of Sexual Harassment in Schools
Emotional Feeling embarrassed Feeling self-conscious Feeling afraid Feeling confused about one’s self Feeling depressed Educational Not wanting to go to school Not wanting to participate as much in class Finding it hard to pay attention Making lower grades Dropping out

7 Coping with Cultural Differences
Many Italian men believe that all foreign women are wanton sluts who find Latin lotharios irresistible and whose repeated insistence that they want to be left alone is merely a cute foreign way of saying “Please take me to bed, you delicious Italian stallion.”

8 Things are changing slowly in Italy
But the majority of Italian women still report that they have been the victim of at least one of the following forms of sexual harassment: Obscene telephone calls Acts of exhibitionism Unwanted touching Sexual intimidation on the job The E.U. supports equality and a harassment free society but in many cases, attempts at reform are considered part of a moral crusade imported from the U.S.

9 Getting the Italians on your side
Complain loudly and repeatedly so that everyone in the vicinity is aware of what is happening. The majority of Italians, especially women, are appalled by this barbaric behavior and will do all they can to assist you. But if you are clearly intoxicated you will receive considerably less sympathy and assistance. Italians think badly of women who allow themselves to get drunk. A woman dining alone can signal that she does not want to be disturbed by putting a book or her work on the table.

10 Avoid looking like a target
Don’t allow yourself to get drunk in public. Tourists who are drunk are magnets for the dregs of society who are looking to rob or assault you. Use the buddy system and have a designated “sober friend” if you do go out partying. Dress and act as well-behaved Italians do. Ask the restaurant to telephone a taxi for you.

11 Spiked Drinks At clubs, watch your drink at all times. Spiking drinks with powerful sleeping drugs (e.g., Rohypnol) is on the increase. Feeling abnormally woozy? Tell female members of the staff you think you have been drugged. Ask them to call the police. Really. No one should be allowed to “help you” get home before the police arrive or you lose consciousness. If any man appears, insisting that he is there to help, loudly insist that you do not know him and do not want his help. Otherwise, you just look like yet another very drunk tourist.

12 Males can be victimized too
Just because you are man doesn’t mean that it is safe to go out alone at night. Follow the same precautions to avoid drinking too much or appearing like an absent-minded tourist. Watch your drinks; the drugs will knock you out too. Don’t assume that pickpockets can’t get into tight pants pockets. They are professionals, after all. When it comes to sexual harassment, U.S. laws and College policies do not discriminate – tell someone if you are being sexually harassed.

13 Be a part of the solution
Look out for each other. Speak up if something inappropriate is going on.

14 What are Italian attitudes about rape?
Rape law in Italy underwent major revision in 1996, when it finally became considered a crime against the person. Punishments are still determined by the amount of harm done to the victim - in the judge’s opinion. Courts are allowed to evaluate the victim’s character and sexual history. Sentences can be reduced if the woman was not a virgin or may have “assisted” the rapist.

15 A “blame culture” exists
Talking about rape is taboo in the poorer south where shame in being a victim is embedded in tradition. 2007 poll of young people by Amnesty International – more than 25% said they thought the woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing. So…what are U.S. attitudes about rape?

16 Sexual Assault in the United States
In the U.S. about 1 in 6 females are sexually assaulted at some point during their lives; for males it is about 1 in 33. The vast majority of perpetrators are males. However, most males do not commit these crimes and represent a mostly un-tapped source for prevention.

17 Who are the victims? 15% of female victims are under age 12 (the majority of male victims are children) 12-34 are the highest risk years for females Girls ages are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault Babies get raped; grandmothers get raped No race or ethnicity is exempt from this trauma No neighborhood is rape-free; the CDC declared sexual assault an epidemic several years ago

18 Who are the perpetrators?
Most of the time it is someone you know, at least casually Rarely, women will commit sexual assaults; their victims are usually children Men assault other men to humiliate them in the worst possible way The vast majority of perpetrators are heterosexual males They are more often in their late teens or twenties but some continue offending into later life

19 Are they crazy, or what? Generally not, but we do find that they often
Have low self-esteem Harbor hostile attitudes toward women Tend to be very conservative and moralistic Have sex-negative attitudes about intimacy Associate with peer groups that accept rape May grow up feeling guilty about sex and see sex and nudity as foul and shameful Have access to willing sexual partners Use alcohol or other substances to create vulnerability in their victims

20 How about when a date just “goes badly?”
Most men will accept a “no” if it is clearly stated. Rapists ignore a “no” because they don’t believe it … or … Rapists ignore a “no” because they don’t care what the other person wants – they seek to overpower, control, and humiliate. Only 1 in 20 men ever commit a sexual assault. What can the other 19 do to help reduce these crimes? Legal sex requires informed consent.


22 Sex vs. Sexual Assault Feelings and motives in both parties change dramatically as behavior moves from consensual to non-consensual Yes! Happy, excited, eager, sexy, loving, horny, confident, joyful, hopeful No! Victim – shocked, betrayed, scared, angry, violated, shameful, regretful Rapist – angry, powerful, resentful, frustrated, dominant, self-righteous False police reports of rape are incredibly rare Nothing a woman (or a man or a child) does can force a man to rape; it is always his choice…his crime


24 Rape is an under-reported crime
By pointing the finger of blame at the victim we get to live in comfortable denial Victim Blaming He would never do a thing like that; she’s just a whore Nobody I know would ever do a thing like that; she’s a liar What did she expect, dressing and acting like that? Bad things only happen to bad people; the world is fair Rape doesn’t happen here; I’m safe and my loved ones are safe


26 Justice is best found in healing and learning to thrive again
Justice is best found in healing and learning to thrive again. Seek counseling. Victims cannot always count on the legal system to give them justice. This 46% figure is high. Typically we see far fewer sexual assaults reported to police.

27 What to do if it happens to you
Tell someone – do not suffer in silence Call your local rape crisis center – no-pressure help If you think you might be making a police report, do not destroy evidence on your body or your clothes Seek counseling for as long as you need it; its never to late to begin Click on Get Help for their online hotline or to find a service provider in your area

28 Orange County’s Rape Crisis Center hotline numbers
(714) or (949) Click on Victim assistance and then sexual assault for information about their services

29 Associazione Nazionale Telefono Rosa
Address: Viale Mazzini Roma Telephone: /62 Fax: Website: (Italian language)

30 What to do if it happens to a friend
Listen and believe them Let them know you aren’t judging them Avoid asking for explanations Accept silences – follow their lead Help them explore their options Encourage them to make their own decisions – to take back their power Be patient – healing can take a long time Encourage them to get professional counseling

31 Prevention Communicate clearly Avoid increasing your vulnerability
Be clear – avoid mixed signals Get consent for sex Avoid increasing your vulnerability Alcohol is the #1 “date rape drug” Headphones Lock up Learn self-defense Back Off! Listen to your intuition Watch out for others who appear vulnerable Speak up Summon help

32 Take care of yourself and one another
So that you can have fun on your study abroad adventure!

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