Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic
Written by Sabah Batul
Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experiences sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitization regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at 3rd November to 10th November 2018.
1. Google forced to act against sexual harassment
A New York Times article revealed that Google had paid a senior executive, Andy Rubin, a $90 million exit package despite credible sexual harassment charges against him. Following this, more than 20,000 employees staged a walkout last week to protest against the company’s policies against sexual misconduct,
This forced Google to make changes in their policies for sexual misconduct, which perhaps is one of the biggest changes brought by the #MeToo Movement.
2. Facebook to follow Google
Following Google, Facebook employees will no longer require to resolve sexual harassment cases by arbitration. Companies like Microsoft, Uber and Lyft have also done the same in the past year. The process of arbitration takes away the right of victims to sue the perpetrator and silences them from going public.
3. A man fired over filing sexual harassment complaint
A kitchen worker as fired from Stella’s after he filed a sexual harassment complaint at work. Steven Bechard says, “I had my boss come up to me, behind me, and grab my hips and and start to pretend to have sex with me.” Bechard says this isn’t the first time his boss made sexual advances towards his employees. He allegedly catcalled his employees and ‘pinched their asses’.
When Bechard told his catering director, he was promised that the case would be brought up to the restaurant chain’s CEO. But four days later when he returned to work, he was fired without notice.
4. BJP General Secretary resigns following allegations
BJP Uttarakhand General Secretary, Sanjay Kumar was accused of sexual harassment by a female BJP worker in Dehradun. She alleges that she was harassed for five years but her cry for help was ignored by other party leaders. Following the complaint, BJP ruling removed Kumar from the post.
5. Accused Miss Earth sponsor speaks up
Amado Cruz, Miss Earth sponsor was accused of sexual harassment by three candidates. Cruz claims this is the biggest controversy in the Philippines-organized pageant in its 17-year history. He denies allegations and says that his involvement with Miss Earth was to only promote her with countries tourism. Former Miss Earth posted a picture and shared with the world her experience with sexual harassment on Instagram.
Cruz to be consulting lawyers as to what steps to take in the future.
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