People urged to report sexual harassment

| 25/10/2011

(CNS): With the launch of a new sexual harassment awareness campaign, the chair of the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation is urging people who suffer sexual harassment to report their experiences and take action. With the passage of the Gender Equality law, which comes in January, Rayal Roberts said the foundation hopes that employers will be encouraged by the campaign to implement best practice policies that address sexual harassment in the workplace. “Sexual harassment is a prevalent issue in the Cayman Islands,” said Roberts.

“By getting the public talking, we hope that victims learn that their suffering should not go unreported. We urge the public to support each other and take action. Sexual harassment, in any form, should not be accepted in our community,” he added.

The campaign theme, "I am not the one who should be ashamed", centres on empowerment and giving voice tovictims by encouraging them to speak out about sexual harassment, and it also acknowledges that the behaviour of the harasser is unacceptable and shameful.

The foundation unveiled its cache of campaign tools at a special launch evening at the Harquail Theatre, including educational posters for prominent display in workspaces and public areas; brochures clearly defining what constitutes an act of sexual harassment and outlining preventative measures and practical suggestions for victims; decals, magnets and t-shirts.

"Our campaign poster depicts persons with tape covering their mouths, and we want to encourage people to remove the invisible tape that is on their mouths when it comes to this issue. By encouraging victims to seek help and being courageous enough to step forward as witnesses, individuals can become part of the solution," Roberts added.

Continuing to spread the word far and wide, ESRF and Women’s Media Watch representatives have visited students at Triple C and St. Ignatius High School, in addition to carrying out a host of television and radio appearances. With a series of cinema and radio advertisements slated for later in the year, alongside a number of community outreach initiatives, organisers are optimistic that their message will be heard loud and clear.

Campaign t-shirts are available to purchase for CI$15 at the Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts, which is located on the second floor of the Largatos Building on Lawrence Blvd. For further information, or to get your posters or brochures, email esrfoundation@gmail.com or visit www.esrfoundation.org.ky.

Category: Local News

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While I (think) I understand what they are trying to say with this poster, I think they could have made a better choice. Although the message is to not allow your speech to be impeded, the taped mouth is also a classic fetish image of control and abuse.

  2. Whodatis says:

    Does this extend to the under(/over?)-sexed and or downright frisky, older (often married) women in our society as well?

    I raise the point because from personal experience – LOADS of our young Caymanian men are pounced upon and harrassed as they enter the workforce fresh out of high school.

    Honestly, some of our women have absolutely no shame in their game.

    They will openly laugh about and discuss in most graphic details with their friends / work colleagues about the flings with their latest young stud.

    I was honestly shocked at the surge of sexual advances that came my way when I entered the working world.

    Often I thought to myself; "Hey, arent you "Sister So-and-So?", or "Hold on – you are my friend's aunt!", and "Wait a minute – don't I call you Ms. X?!".

    I felt sorry for their poor husbands as they dropped them off in the mornings and brought them lunch at midday etc.

    It was at that point in my young life when I swore off marriage completely. (Not about to reveal the outcome of that promise though.)

    Yes, sexual harrassment is very much a part of our society, however not enough attention is being placed on all of its forms.

  3. Anonymous says:

    they want people to report these types of acts, but when people do report these acts it just get brush under the door especially in government departments like (PWD).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Report sexual harrassment to who though?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let us not forget that men are sexually harrassed also.  I see it happening in my workplace.

    • Anonymous says:

      When was the last time you got pestered on the road with —

      PSSSSTT BAYBEEE MI LIKE YU MI WANT CHAT TO YU! YU SUMTHING FAT EE??

      walking on the road to store with my 4 year old son you think I like being leered at a sex object in front of a little boy that I am a piece of meat! Shut up!

       

    • Anonymous says:

      happens to me a lot…… and i likes it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    this is a timely conversation with the new Gender Equality Law so kudos to estella foundation for its work.

    Its not a pleasant topic but estella never shied away from the tough conversations so I feel she would be a proud advocate.

    As a well-endowed woman I have had to put up with alot of frustrating advances and come-ons at work but without clear policies, there was nobody to talk to.

    Is there going to be training offered to companies for this now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lord I hope so! Start with Government! Then the law firms!

      the irony of what I am saying is clear (Govnt passed the laws, lawyers suppose to understand the laws) but those two organisations are the WORST