There’s been a lot of talk about the recent developments regarding Trump, Russia, the FBI, Michael Flynn, criminal investigations, etc. There’ve been lots of fast moving developments and breaking stories. But I want to pause that narrative today to talk about a different subject.
Roger Ailes died today. Thus, today, and any day, is a good day to talk about sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, crimes which Mr. Ailes settled extremely expensive lawsuits to make go away from his personal life, and how they can be prevented moving forward.
During his tenure at Fox News, Mr. Ailes was responsible for creating an extremely hostile work environment for women at the network. He wasn’t the only one at Fox News who was a serial harasser and that workplace is far from an outlier. 1 out of every 3 women faces sexual harassment in the workplace. The vast majority of them, 71 percent, do not report it, thus that statistic might be even higher than surveyed.
Violence against women outside of the workplace is just as bad. 1 out of every 6 women is the target of an attempted or successful rape. Since 1998, over 17 million women have been rape victims in the United States. Over 320,000 people are raped or sexually assaulted each year in this country.
Victims suffer from PTSD, suicidal thoughts and depression. It increases their risk for drug addiction, professional problems and becoming abusers themselves. That’s not even getting into the major issues with sexual assault on college campuses, including how those cases are legally processed as well as the culture of sexual assault in our military.
Much like gun violence, this is a significant problem in this country which needs to be discussed and dealt with far more affirmatively. Sex education in our schools needs to address consent early and heavily in course material. Colleges need to be accountable to the legal system when reporting crimes on campuses. Consent laws need to be clarified and tightened nationally and in the states.
How would you feel if it was a woman (or man) close to you going through such a situation?