Have you ever told someone they were in your space, in your bubble? Has anyone ever made you feel uncomfortable? How about ever having someone look you in the eyes and tell you they had control over you, did you feel like they did? That is how sexual harassment victims feel and it is our job to protect our peers and recognize the signs of sexual harassment- a devastating and effective rush for power; power over another human being. According to hostile highways, in a nation wide survey, 83% of girls experienced sexual harassment in school, while 60% of boys did also.
Sexual harassment is said to be subjective and brush off. Dick Masterson, an activist and writer, states that sexual harassment does not exist and we should stop whining. Dateline says the effects are real and harmful. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. The truth is sexual harassment is all around us, every day; it is in the halls of this very school, the classrooms, and the very eyes of our students here- we see sexual harassment twisting and taking familiar forms in faces we see on the streets. My persuasive speech is to persuade you that sexual harassment effects people detrimentally, the effects that me and so many others experience daily.
Now first, I want to talk about the social effects that follow sexual harassment. When sexually harassed the victim is often isolated from a group or friends, making the victim seem small and alone, making them feel powerless. Many sexual harassment victims feel venerable and embarrassed, causing them to recoiled from friends and regular support groups such as family.
Second I want to talk about the emotional effects of sexual harassment. Dr. Donald Franklin, A physiologist says “The physiological impact of sexual harassment can be severe and sometimes permanent.” There are many cases where depression has been a result of sexual harassment, along with feeling angry or even powerless. After a little research I found that the most common emotional effects are suppressed anger and feeling powerless, also guilt.
I experienced these emotions big time, I held it all in, all the anger toward my harasser that one day I impulsively lashed out and almost broke his nose, it bled through lunch and part of fifth. Afterward I went to officer Martian’s office crying because I was afraid of his after affect temper toward me. I was afraid of the harassment getting worse and I felt guilty for attacking him. I began to hide away in the library, skipping lunch so I wouldn’t be confronted. Many girls that talked with me, shared that they began counseling sessions to control anxiety.
Last I would like to discuss the academic effects. Imagine a girl who had a 3.7 GPA, began her junior year failing every class, except health. The class she had with her harasser. Looking at her, you wouldn’t think she was dealing with such things; But her lack of concentration and anxiety mixed with bad grades proved it. That girl was me, I couldn’t get my mind off worrying about my harasser, was he here? Would he harass me? Could I hide from him? The SHS, sexual harassment support, did a study on the symptoms and signs. They explained how Sudden decreased school performance, dropped courses, and loss\lack of concentration are number one signs of sexual harassment victimization.
The ERA, equal rights advocates, says “Students who are being sexually harassed can be too embarrassed to voice a complaint, they can be intimidated by their harasser, or think that little can be done.” … “Sexual harassment, however, is a serious issue. Many students who have been sexually harassed report a drop in their grades, transfer to a different school, drop classes, or leave school all together.”
In conclusion, The effects of Sexual harassment can be devastating. Would you like to be isolated, taken advantage of and violated like so many people are every day? Sexual harassment is one step before rape.