97% of a group of about 1,000 women that are 18-24 have been sexually harassed in the United Kingdom as of January 2021. Sexual harassment is unwelcomed sexual advances, being requested sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. As the author of “97%” goes on to claim that the study is about sexual assault, it was about sexual harrasment.
The two should not be compared.
While both are awful things, and there shouldn’t even be a percentage of females that have experienced the wrong-doing, sexual harrasment and sexual assault are two different things. Sexual assault is unwanted sexual touching, attemted rape, rape, and the forceful sexual things. As a survior of sexual assault, the author claiming the study as sexual assault while it was about sexual harrasment, makes me feel like my story and my experience with it all should just be taken lightly like a sexual harrasment issue. I say that it makes me feel that way because in many cases, sexual harassment is not a criminal act. What happened to me was a criminal act and should NOT be treated like a sexual harassment act. The two are different and should not be compared. Let alone misinforming the article by referring to the study about sexual harassment, as sexual assault. As I said before though, there should not be a percentage of women that have experianced sexual harassment or sexual assault. Both are valid experiences and stories, but they should not be compared. Both are valid experiences and stories but they should be categorized properly.
Not categorizing them properly, or making it seem like the two are on the same level is highly triggering and misinforming. Spreading awareness is important, but it should be done correctly and it should be done very cautiously. As the author states, “If you are a part of the problem right now, you don’t have to stay that way. Change your actions and the way you interact with women.” This statement comes with the lack of knowledge of the saying “Boys will be boys.” Many males believe what they are doing is perfectly fine and they are not the problem. It also comes with the lack of knowledge on the mind of a perpetrator, the person who carries out and does the actions. Just telling someone to stop making females uncomfortable, telling someone to stop touching someone inappropriately, telling someone to stop raping people, is not that simple. Many people who have done the illegal actions they have done when it comes to sexual harrasment or sexual assault , is something they need to fix mentally or should be fixed with legal action.
The author also states, “Do not be afraid to step in when you see it happening. Call it out. Take it seriously by taking action to help.” Taking action and calling it out is not as easy as it seems. I agree with taking the situation seriously, but the taking action part and calling it out part is easier said than done. Many people are scared or uncomfortable in the situation. The three F’s, fight, flight, or freeze. Freeze is the most common action taken by someone in the situation. Not being able to process what is going on, not being able to know what’s going to happen next, makes the brain freeze. It can make the people around feel the same way. It can make witnesses shocked and make them think about what is right and wrong to do in the situation. Mostly everything is easier said than done. Another issue I have with the article is that it also is very one sided. While I get the story “97%” is to talk about and spread awareness on the study that came out, I believe that spreading awareness would also talk about the males that have to go through sexual assault and sexual harassment. It can happen to either gender and both should be taken seriously.
It should be made aware that males can have just as bad experiences. It should also be made aware that males are less likely to come out about the situations. It should be made aware that women can too become perpetrators. If you or someone you know is a survior of sexual harasssment, or sexual assault, help is available and your experience is valid. If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault, you are entitled to feel any way about the situation. If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault, you are entitled to any emotions you have about the situation. If you have experienced sexual harrasment or sexual assault, you are a survivor.
-National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
-National Street Harassment Hotline: 855-897-5910
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255