The issue of sexual harassment in societies is alarming and dangerous. With the continued spread of harassment in public places and assaults behind closed doors and in the virtual (cyber) world, it is necessary to raise the alarm bells to avoid these crimes, which leave and psychological scars that have accompanied the victims for many years, according to experts interviewed by the “free” site.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment, in its guidance, as “unsolicited sexual offers, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature. . Such behavior is either express or implied.”
For its part, the International Labor Organization says that it is difficult to measure violence and harassment at work, “and often victims who disclose their experiences to another person, have suffered more than one form of violence and of harassment”. The most common reasons for non-disclosure, according to the organization, are “waste of time and fear for reputation.”
And if the word “victim” is feminine, then it is appropriate in the field of harassment for both men and women, because all groups are victims of harassment, despite the emphasis that experts place on the reality of women.
As experts describe it, a stalker or abuser is “a person who possesses the power or dominance granted to them by society and who reestablishes control in harmful ways over other parties less powerful and more vulnerable than themselves, including sexual harassment”.
Sexual harassment is not limited to foreplay or fondling, which is why the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission categorizes multiple types of harassment, explaining that it is “those words and actions of a sexual nature that violate the intimacy of body or feelings, and may be verbal, non-verbal or physical”, such as:
- Inappropriate gaze and examination.
- To block someone’s path with the body.
- Giving personal (intimate) gifts.
- Telling lies and jokes about another person’s sexuality.
- Expressions carrying a suggestion with a sexual dimension
- Calls, hisses, screams and whispers, which have sexual connotations.
- Sexual notes on the body.
- Stalking someone and approaching them in bad faith.
- Advocacy for overt and implied sex.
- Post sexual images.
- Online harassment.
- Touching, smelling, scratching, getting too close and many more.
- Undressing and showing your private parts in front of another person.
Who is the stalker?
The therapist and psychoanalyst, university professor, Dr. Marie-Ange Nohra, explains to Al-Hurra that “the methods adopted by the stalker are deviant, so he gets very close to his victim, and adopts gentleness and seduction, in order to be able to attract the victim, especially if she is a child or younger than him, Therefore, the seriousness of the problem is that the stalker is not exposed, because sometimes he is a relative or a colleague, and the idea of hurting his victim and being superior to him gives him pleasure.
She adds that “notoriety allows a person to hide behind their reputation and prestige and prevents the victim from revealing it. The more the stalker is in a position of authority, the more the victim will be silenced.”
For her part, the coordinator of prevention programs within “Abaad”, an association that supports gender equality, Lama Jaradi, underlines, during an interview with the “Al-Hurra” website, that “the stalker or abuser is a person who has power or dominance granted to them by society and returns control to them in a harmful way.” other sides less powerful and more fragile than her.”
She points out that all groups in society are vulnerable to harassment, but because our societies are male, there is more control and authority for men, and women and girls are the most vulnerable groups and groups most at risk of sexual harassment, especially in places where men have power over women, such as workplaces and places where he exercises economic or family dominance.
Harassment can occur through abuse of position, by a manager, parent or clergy member, and the greatest danger is when sexual harassment escalates into repeated rape by the same person.
In the framework, Nohra states that “the danger of the stalker is that he adopts long-term methods, and the victim may continue to remain silent for years. We see it in the clinic, and after talking, signs healing and courage begin, so the victim speaks out in front of society.”
Resist the stalker
“The danger of the different methods of harassment lies in their disguise, as they are not easily detectable,” explains Nohra, before adding: “The aggressor prevents his victim from seeking help when he is near her, and she can no longer resist because she becomes in a vulnerable position.”
She points out that the harasser is usually responsible for his victim at work (a manager), his aunt, his uncle or a relative from an emotional or practical point of view.
She points out that harassment is not limited to women only, but also to men, as it can occur between an adult woman and a younger man, child or teenager.
“Society condemns the victim and does not condemn the oppressor,” according to Nahra, and by suppressing it, it prevents the victim from speaking out for years when they have matured and have enough confidence in themselves to speak out against the oppressor.
For his part, Jaradi points out that “the victim remains silent because he feels guilty”, and explains that this is caused by “upbringing and habits, for example, lest it be said that he seduced, and left home late, so the guilt falls on her.”
In addition to the stigma that society can impose on the victim and their lack of awareness of the existence of organizations that can provide them with protection or support.
Nohra and Jaradi list the psychological consequences experienced by the victim of bullying:
- She suffers in silence.
- The repercussions are very important on the psychological level (stage of refraction).
- Loss of appetite over time.
- Loss of desire and pleasure to go out with friends.
- Anxiety and sleep disorders.
- Anxiety, insomnia and lack of concentration.
- Timid personal relationships.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (this can be a physical disorder that can reach the stage of harming the victim himself).
- Loss of opportunities.
- Loss of many relationships and many opportunities in society.
How to educate children
Experts agree that the best way to prevent bullying is to educate minors and warn them not to interact with a stranger and not approach anyone they don’t know who tries to approach them. .
The role of parents is very important in immunizing the teenager and protecting him against exposure to bullying.
Nohra explains: “From an early age, under 10 years old, we can simply explain to the child that his body belongs to him, and that no one can approach this body.
In addition to encouraging the child to:
- Always communicate with his family in case he senses the danger of harassment.
- Mutual trust and parents’ ability to listen.
What age is suitable for sexual awareness?
Jaradi explains that it is possible to talk to children about bullying in special ways. And this is done from an early age, from kindergarten classes, by making them aware of the intimate parts of their body, and who can see them, and from that moment sexual awareness begins.
She stresses the need to educate children on how to protect themselves against sexual harassment, by providing them with self-protection, and by introducing them to the forms of harassment and what it means, and why this harassment happens to them, and that this issue is not their fault, then the child learns the personal skills to protect themselves.
Leave a Reply