Sexual harassment stories in news prompt call for taking action

Susan Mathias, President and CEO Transitions of PA

Kristen Houser, Chief Public Affairs Officer for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

SUNBURY – In the wake of numerous reports of sexual harassment caused by entertainment and political figures, now’s is the time to start taking action…says Kristen Houser, Chief Public Affairs Officer for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

She joined WKOK’s On The Mark program this week and said its good we’re talking, but now its action that needs to take place, “Number one, we’re talking about a full range of sexually abusive behaviors, some are criminal, some are not.  And number two, people are talking about how, when as a bystander or a colleague or a co-worker, that when you turn your heard the other way.”

Houser says one way to eliminate sexual harassment incidents is have stricter policies in the work place, “You need to be empowering you middle managers, and your front line supervisors, to take action immediately. And just saying ‘zero tolerance’ probably isn’t the right approach either, but you need to have swift response to complaints and that the punishment that’s meted out needs to be on the same level as what was done.”

Houser also says it is important to talk with children of all ages, having age appropriate conversations through life, “We are riding in the car with them, with radio on, we’ve got sitcoms (on TV).  So you can have these conversations in a daily kind of way that’s not intimidating but that can normalize it, that number one you’re a safe parent to talk to about it, but you ask things like, does anybody treat anybody like that, would you stand up for your friend?

Hear more from Houser and Susan Mathias of Transitions of PA on WKOK.com, they were on a recent edition of WKOK’s On The Mark program. (Matt Catrillo)

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