A PRESENTATION BY: REV. DR MERCY OGBODO AT IMO STUDENTS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT HELD AT IICC ON THE 20TH - 21st SEPT
TOPIC: YOU CAN STOP IT: SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN OUR INSTITUTIONS
Definition of Term- Sexual Harassment:
It is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favours. (Wikipedia.org)
Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours and other verbal and physical harassment of a sexual nature.
For the past years in our secondary schools and tertiary institutions, there has been an alarming increasing sexual abuse/harassment on our children, especially the female one. It has become rampant that our children are beginning to see it as a compulsory part of their education. Those that tries to fight is, mostly didn’t get vindicated. Some have started seeing it as a welcomed option to getting away with indiscipline in class attendance and study.
The male lecturers who take advantage of these students seem to be clueless as to what their real responsibilities in molding the lives and future of these young one are. They clam that some of these girls harass them by their dressing and approach. But this is not an acceptable excuse. Because they are the ones that should mould them into discipline and rightness. It is their duty to correct, rebuke and discipline these students who do not have these virtues in them. That is why they are in school. The focus of the lecturers should not just be on their monthly salaries and gains.
This is why the focus on stopping this devilish act (sexual harassment) fails on the lecturers and school authorities. Help our children secure their future. Help our Nation produce worthy leaders. Help our families secure worthy husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.
REASONS AND EXCUSES FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT
- Some of the student fear of facing grave consequences if they refuse to succumb with the sexual conditions given to them by their lecturers.
- They fear that because of lack of connection to powerful individuals in and outside the school, they lack what it takes to stand for their rights.
- Some who are financially handicapped, fell they have no choice than to pay the proce sexually instead of carrying the course over or facing the wrath of their lecturer.
- Some of these lecturers feel that since these girls are willing to offer their bodies for grades, they deprive them that. Also since there are no harsh consequences against them.
- While dome of them simply exploit these girls sexually either willing or forcefully, because it makes them feel powerful and in control. These ones obviously need psychiatric attention.
IMPLICATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment has negative implication on
a. The victim, Both psychologically, socially, spiritually
b. The oppressor, both psychologically, socially, spiritually
c. On the society at large.
YOU CAN STOP IT!
- Know and be conscious of who you are: Genesis 1:26 -27. You were never created to be dominated upon. You are made to have dominion over sea, air and all the earth. Place some divine worth on yourself.
- You are worth fighting for. So be willing to fight. You can say no and mean no. You are worth it.
- Don’t make yourself a prey for sexual harassment by the way you dress and carry yourself and by the company that you keep.
- Sexual conditions are for morons. Are you one?
- Prove your worth by studying to show yourself approved. Study, knowing that there is no other option.
- Don’t declare yourself brainless and worthless by settling for sexual abuse.
- If you must fail, fail honorably by being ready to take the source again. It will make you better.
- Merit your success: Courage is not know by lack of failure but by one;s ability to stand and begin again after failing.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AUTHORITIES IN STOPPING SEXUAL HARASSMENT
- Policies and laws should be enforced by the governing counsels and should be judiciously carried out.
- Set up boards to adopt comprehensive policies and always that will eradicate sexual harassment in schools.
- Set up mechanisms for reporting such cases to avoid victimization of victims by thugs, cultists etc
- Set up a strategy for proper investigation before judgment is being passed.
- Set up a strong and definite consequences for offenders.