The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – People need to learn dangers of harassment

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The Collegian Logo

By Annette Kirk/campus editor

Harassment has become a heated topic the past month as women have come forward about inappropriate sexual behavior conducted by men.

Too often, these stories come after the action has happened and damages have occurred. Inappropriate behavior can rise at any time and come from a close friend, a family member or an acquaintance.

When harassment starts, it can be with a few words that we women may play off or hope won’t continue. It can occur over a series of emails left unresponded. It can occur in repetitive phone calls with the same voice but different names.

Women are not responsible for making sure harassment does not occur. Inappropriate indiscretions should never be their fault, and the perpetrator is the only one to blame. However, everyone has a responsibility to know when enough is enough and how to recognize unwanted behavior before it gets out of hand.

The National Crime Victimization Survey shows one in every six women are victims of attempted or completed rape. That’s 53.8 million perpetrators who need to be educated. They need to know that their behavior is wrong and know that enough is enough.

At any point, if you feel uncomfortable or that what you are doing will make the person receiving your attention uncomfortable, then rethink the manner in which the situation is handled.

With the increase in the social media movement, social media platforms have become a hub for unwanted attention to begin. People have the right to speak freely and post as they feel, but within reason. If the person receiving the comments feels uncomfortable, that is when enough is enough.

Not reporting the unwanted attention can lead to serious consequences for both individuals. Cyberstalking and harassment can lead to stalking in person and progress into unwanted territory like physical contact and even forced sex.

Whether the attention is being given or received, it is important to accept that not all attention is wanted.  Counselors and friends can provide advice and recommendations to approach these situations.

In Texas, no legal action can be taken unless there is an imminent threat. This leaves harassment cases open without support for the victims and allows the harassment to progress.

It is up to all of us to be educated, supportive and leave the next generation with a healthier and safer environment.

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