With all the accusations of sexual harassment and assault flying around nowadays there are of course plenty of memes on the subject to be found on Facebook. Not long ago while I was scrolling through one such meme caught my attention. The title was “How to not be accused of sexual harassment”. Then it showed a pie chart.
I thought of several ways you should protect yourselves from such things. What does this show? Exactly one color, only one suggestion. And what was that one suggestion? “Don’t sexually harass.”
Well, that’s the first step. But, sorry, no cigar, that’s not going to guarantee anything.
Not doing it at all should be helpful in not getting convicted of doing it, but it’s not much help against being accused. Yes, I’ve heard that nobody is going to lie about such things, but guess what? The evidence is there to say otherwise. People have lied about rape, assault and harassment only to have their stories fall about when the evidence was looked at. Or they later recanted their story.
I once had someone I know tell me that my brother-in-law had at the very least been very bold and forward in a sexually suggestive way with her. (And yes, she was/is married.) This person wanted me to admit he’d behaved similarly towards me.
My brother-in-law was so shy around me he barely ever said two words to me and I don’t think he ever touched me, not even for a hug, which I made clear then let it drop. But a few years later my own husband was accused of inappropriate behavior with some of his female clients while he was working as a home health aide, not once, but twice.
The first time his boss thought it was actually one if his clients and even took all his female clients off his list, only to have each one of them ask to have him back. The second time she told him he had someone out to get him and to watch is back.
A few years later we figured out who’d been making those false accusations. The same person who had tried to get me to accuse my very innocent brother-in-law.
You see all it takes to be accused of sexual assault or harassment isn’t doing such things but rather coming into the crosshairs of someone who has no problem with bearing false witness. So while your first defense against being accused should be not doing them in the first place, it can’t be your only defense. If it is, you’ve got your head in the sand. And that’s the last place you want your head to be.
No, I think your second defense should be never being in situation alone with someone who could then later say, “When they got me alone they did…” Then you get in a I said/they said situation and you’ve got no witnesses to your defense.
In our church we have this saying (I think other churches have it too) “avoid the appearance of evil”. So don’t put yourself in situations where someone’s false statements might find enough footing to be taken as fact.
Food for thought.
P.S. Happy 18th Birthday to my oldest son (tomorrow).