GUEST POV | Sexual harassment deserves consequences - WDRB 41 Louisville News

GUEST POV | Sexual harassment deserves consequences

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By Richard Nelson
Executive Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Sexual harassment and abuse is dominating the news. And as distasteful as the subject may be, we're forced to think and respond carefully. So where does one begin?

How about with empathy toward the women who've come out of the shadows to share their stories? It takes a level of courage, previously hindered by fear of reprisal, to openly share humiliating details of abuse.

At the same time, in fairness to the accused, the evidence and testimonies of accusers should be weighed. Credibility and consistency should be paramount and timing should be considered. It only muddies the already stained political waters when last-minute accusations arise before major elections. 

But when credible testimony comes, there should be consequences. Gov. Matt Bevin called for Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover's to resign after inappropriate sexual banter with a staffer was revealed.  Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has yet to do the same with a member of his own party over sexual misconduct.

How about a cultural assessment? Sexual harassment flourishes in a medium that normalizes twisted sexuality and pushes moral boundaries over the cliff.

So how do we change this mess? Quite simply: it's up to each one of us to find the courage and stand up for those in the workplace who are being harassed. It's about the kind of media we consume and teaching our children to respect others. It's deciding to do what is right even if you have to do it alone.

I'm Richard Nelson and that's my Point of View.

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