Topic

sexual assault survivors

17 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi

Demand Congress publicize taxpayer-funded harassments settlements

Did you know that Congress is using taxpayer money to protect harassers in government from being held accountable to their actions? Since its creation 20 years ago, Congress has spent over $15 million to settle cases of harassment brought against lawmakers. Sign my petition to demand transparency from Congress and to hold both parties accountable to preventing harassment at any level of government. In addition to the lack of transparency, the reporting process makes it very difficult to hold harassers accountable. Before a formal complaint can be filed, accusers are required to wait thirty days for both counseling and mediation, in addition to sign a non-disclosure agreements. This last requirement prevents accusers from ever speaking about the case or warning their coworkers about a predatory employee. Sexual misconduct and other inappropriate conduct should not be tolerated at any level of government, no matter the party or ideological persuasion. Both men and women staff members have the right to expect professional conduct and a safe working environment. Parents should have confidence that the internships their sons and daughters take in government will not put them in danger of being harassed. Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle must be held to account for their actions, just as any other citizen in a civil society. How do I cast my vote for a candidate if I don’t have important information on their behavior representing me in Washington DC? It is dishonest to create special privileges for legislators to get away with predatory behavior and intolerable to set up a taxpayer-funded slush fund to settle complaints with no public disclosure or accountability. We demand that the leadership of both parties in the House and Senate disclose names on whose behalf payment was made and the category of claim. We demand accountability and transparency on the part of those elected to serve.  

John Neal
31,058 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to United States Department of Labor

Require & Enforce Employers and Colleges To Follow Up With Sexual Harassment Allegations

Today in America, more women than ever are bringing to light on how they were sexually assaulted by their male colleagues in the past. Many of the high-profile cases include people such as Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and many others.  Sexual assault is not exclusive to the work place either. Many college campuses are having issues with sexual assault too. 10 schools which included Brown, U-Conn, Dartmouth College, and others have at least 35 rape reports on their main campuses in 2014 (Chicago Tribune, 2016). Sexual assault is nothing new, but the rising trend of it in the workplace and on campus is dangerous and it raises questions on how are these cases are being handled when reported.               Being in college and surrounded by college kids almost 24/7, makes me wonder how many rape cases go unnoticed or dismissed at the school I attend. Even though many cases were reported and handled accordingly, the allegations against Bill Cosby that arose again in 2014 was the start of many more high-profile allegations coming to light. According to the LA Times, 45 women in 2014 said they were assaulted by Cosby (LA Times, 2017). Currently, there are resources to help victims of sexual harassment get the help and the mental, physical, and emotional support they need to get through the initial experience. Contrary to the different resources available, you don’t hear about many sexual harassment prevention programs being put in place for employees and college students. One thing I can say many colleges have in place that is required for students to educate themselves about are domestic violence & sexual harassment prevention programs online. The previous college that I attended made it mandatory for us to complete the online program before a pre-determined date or risk a hold being placed on our student account preventing class registration for next semester. The current university that I’m at now has the same requirements in place. However out of all the jobs that I’ve been employed at with the exception of Six Flags, none of them required its employees to take courses on sexual harassment. Six Flags requires that only employees working in specific departments be trained on how to identify sexual harassment in the workplace. Today with the rising trend in sexual harassment, how are we dealing with the cases in the most appropriate and ethical matter?             In last week’s issue of Radio Times, Angela Lansbury said that with women’s efforts to look more attractive, it “has backfired”. She insists that women own up to the fact that they have gone out their way to look more attractive, but unfortunately it backfired on them (Radio Times, 2017). I can completely agree with what she’s saying because women shouldn’t have to dress a certain way to prevent them from being harassed, but at the same time there is some clothing that is just inappropriate for the workplace.             Even though women’s clothing shouldn’t be the issue in the work place unless its distasteful and completely disregards company policy, USA Today’s Mike Snider reports on the rising sexual assault accusations in New York’s TV industry. Snider interviewed Mark Feldstein, a former journalist at NBC and Feldstein quoted “New York is where the power is and this is fundamentally a scandal about power and the abuse of power in sexual ways.” Feldstein also spills the tea on how there was a running joke that went around the office on how on-air anchorwomen wouldn’t have gotten where they were now without being bedded by “ugly TV executives” (USA Today, 2017). It is obvious now where most of these accusations are coming from; top level executives. The television or even just the entertainment industry period is such a “close knitted” community, that many women years ago who worked in the industry were considered lucky because you could only rise up by word of mouth or by simply just being a man since many women weren’t in this industry yet. However, there is still no excuse for any top-level executives to sexually harass women. Feldstein’s insights into what really goes on is a major strength in USA Today’s article. Many current people who work in the TV industry won’t go into specifics like that because there is still a fear of retaliation against them. What I want to know though is why didn’t Feldstein report what he witnessed to the appropriate authorities or why Mike Snider didn’t ask why other male colleagues didn’t report the incidents. This is probably the biggest weakness in this article from the author.             Actress Ashley Judd made her first public appearance at the Women’s Convention in Detroit since she accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. At the convention, she gave a speech against the sexual harassment and how there is “naturally a chaotic, messy, unprecedented sociocultural, sexual change happening.” One of the keywords she uses to describe the situation is “natural.” I feel as if her use of the word natural, is telling us that some of us are being raised to think that this type of behavior is merely acceptable in society when it’s not. Judd also pointed out that gender equality, human trafficking, and sexual abuse are all still a huge prevalent problem that we’re dealing with still. A strength point that should be pointed out is the questions that Judd asked. She asked questions like “What about all of the women whose careers never got off of the ground?” and “What about the collective economic loss endured, especially by women in low paying jobs, women on the margin of the margin, he undocumented, the field workers, the gals in the diners who get their bottom pinched all the time?” (NBC Washington, 2017). These are the questions that aren’t being asked and it raises even more question on why they aren’t being asked.             After hearing the different perspectives on this issue in the sources above, generally speaking most people are agreeing that there needs to be measures and policies in place to deter employers and organizations from simply doing nothing about sexual harassment reports. It is obvious that the problem not only lies with the people who choose to harass those at work, but the entrusted Human Resource department at work and the student affairs department at various schools across the country. When entrusted with such a duty to investigate cases such as these, you would think that a person would come to their ethical instincts and do everything in their power to help the victim and reassure that they are working and living in a safe space. Many people, women specifically, are coming forward years later to talk about how their former and/or current colleague(s) sexually harassed them. From hearing the different stories on why these people decided to come out years later is very disturbing and it should bring awareness to people seeking employment. For the most part, the main reason for people coming out years later to bring horror experiences back to life is the fact that they did not want to face retaliation from other coworkers at the time. These coworkers had the power to determine their next move within the company or project. The people who did report the alleged events however, were unfortunately unaware of how the department they reported to would handle the case. Ironically, most departments either dismissed the reports or stalled the alleged victim until he/she reminded them of the issue. People who work in the departments who handles these cases should take something similar to an oath to serve the individuals who come to them for help because I believe that it is an ethical duty to help those in this type of situation. Please sign this petition to let the United States Department of Labor know that sexual harassment cases need to be dealt with by a specific person or group of people who have a sworn duty to investigate accordingly. 

Marquez Lemon
13 supporters
This petition won 1 week ago

Petition to Stockton University

Stockton University: Take Action Against Sexual Assault

As Stockton University expands its reach throughout South Jersey, it is imperative that Stockton take action to support its growing student body and provide resources to students in crisis situations, especially related to sexual assault and gendered violence.Sexual assault and gendered violence is a significant problem across the United States and throughout the world, and Stockton University is not exempt from these threats.  Stockton’s 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report discloses the following cases were reported from 2014-2016: 4 cases of fondling 7 cases of domestic violence  12 cases of dating violence 12 reported rapes 20 cases of stalking This is not, of course, just a problem within our community.  In fact, sexual assault and gendered violence are massive threats to college students nationwide.According to the The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): College women ages 18-24 are 3 times more likely to experience sexual violence when compared to non-college aged women. College women are 2 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than they are to be robbed. Only 20% of female college students report sexual violence to law enforcement officials.  Furthermore, the CDC has also reported that: 37.4% of female rape victims were first raped between the ages of 18-24.  In a study of undergraduate women, 19% experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college.  Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. Stockton’s mission statement claims the University “provides an environment for excellence.” We believe that in order for excellence to thrive, certain steps must be taken to ensure the safety of our community.  We propose that Stockton do the following: Reaffirm its commitment to the guidelines set forth in the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.  The letter was issued as a reminder to colleges and universities that they must be transparent in reporting sexual assault and harassment in order to receive federal funding, providing a strict framework for handling and documenting these crimes.  As of 2017, the Dear Colleague Letter has been withdrawn, creating potential loopholes for institutions to exploit.  We strongly urge Stockton University not to abandon the guidelines set forth in this document. Establish an anonymous, confidential 24/7 hotline for Stockton University students in crisis situations, particularly those who have experienced sexual assault and/or gendered violence. Institutions ranging from the University of Delaware and Penn State University to Lawrence University and Carleton College have implemented their own 24/7 call centers to improve the quality of safety for students on campus.  Stockton University lacks confidential resources for students in these crisis situations after typical business hours as well as on weekends; additionally, students may feel more comfortable reporting to an internal, professionally trained source familiar with Stockton’s campus and the caller’s rights, as laid out in The Clery Act and therefore more likely to report incidents of sexual assault and gendered violence.   Stockton’s Guiding Principle is “Students first; vision and strategy follow.”  By recommitting to the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter and creating a 24/7 crisis hotline, Stockton would be supporting its current students in a responsive and transparent way and acting on its core mission and values. Stockton will benefit from these actions: students’ wellness will be promoted; Stockton’s reputation as an environment for excellence will be upheld; campus safety will be improved; and prospective students will feel safer knowing the university is invested in the safety and well-being of its students.Stockton University should take the lead by being one of the first schools in New Jersey to publicly recommit to the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, and by establishing a 24/7 crisis hotline.    

Stockton University's Fall 2017 Perspectives on Women - GAH 2358-001
7,333 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to The Pingry School Board

Fair treatment for survivors of Pingry School child sexual abuse

Alumni and allies demand fair treatment and just restitution for victims of child sexual abuse. An independent investigation found “a pervasive problem of child sexual abuse" at the Pingry School throughout the 1970s. At least 27 students were abused by former teacher and assistant Lower School principal Thad Alton between 1972 and 1978. Bruce Bohrer, who taught woodshop between 1974 and 1991, reportedly sexually abused at least four students between 1978 and 1979. Antoine du Bourg, who at one point had a room and an annual concert at the school named after him, harassed and abused multiple students over the course of his 46 years at Pingry. The school has acknowledged these cases and made available online the findings of this investigation. However, as detailed in a December 4, 2017 New York Times piece by Elizabeth A. Harris, The Pingry School seems to be avoiding responsibility for the abuse of these former students. Focusing on specific aspects of New Jersey’s statutes of limitation, the school and its insurance company are, in the words of one of the lawyers representing the survivors, “not going to offer much of anything on some cases, and Pingry was not going to make up the difference.” By all appearances, the Pingry School is playing hardball with victims of child rape and sexual assault. We the undersigned are appalled by this. We are sad for the victims. We are stunned and angry that a school with the means to offer fair and equal settlements balks at doing so. We are alumni, parents, and teachers who, while thankful for our time at Pingry, are nevertheless disappointed and upset by the moral hypocrisy of the school. Pingry says it values “Excellence and Honor,” and the Honor Code is central to the daily life of the students. Pingry must live up to its motto; if indeed “greatest respect is due students,” then we demand that the school dedicate itself to ensuring that incidents like these can never be repeated. The Pingry School must acknowledge the ongoing nature of the profound suffering that began under its watch and within its walls. We demand fair treatment for this group of survivors.

Eric Encarnacion
1,092 supporters