How to handle harassment

Tips from the students

Alan Williams, Times Staff

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SJCC student Dania Tomayo, a 21 year old nursing major, said that she knows of someone who has been harassed. “They stopped showing up to school for two months because they were frightened. They went to a teacher but this person still doesn’t show.” Harassment should not be taken lightly and if you are being harassed do not be afraid to, “block them and seek out help. The more people that know about this, the more likely it will be true.”

Oftentimes, survivors of sexual assault or harassment don’t speak up because they are afraid that people will not take them seriously or that it was somehow their fault. Victim blaming, occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. Due to the faults in other people, it is hard for survivors to voice their experiences as was the case with the #Metoo Movement.

The #MeToo movement went viral in 2017 and it sparked a nationwide conversation about how we treat victims of sexual assault and victims of harassment. Instead of disregarding the experiences of these women and men by blaming them for the actions of others, they were taken seriously.

Jammaar Hall, a 29 year old psychology major at SJCC says that he doesn’t know of anyone who has ever been harassed; however, he did say, “The advice that I would give is to stay away from that person, I would say that if it keeps happening, go report them because you don’t want it to keep going and going. Make the report and then go tell people about it.”

The legal definition of harassment is, the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purpose may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious.

Carlos Galindez, a 21 year old media arts major at SJCC says that he has experienced harassment in the workplace once or twice. He said, “Internally I was feeling angry at the person, but professionally I had to deal with it by remaining neutral. Afterwards I talked to my manager because it was some kind of solution for me.” If you are being harassed Carlos said, “You definitely need to talk to somebody because you don’t want to keep it inside and internalize it. Definitely reach out for help.”

According to www.equalrights.org, if you are being harassed or if you are a victim of sexual assault do not blame yourself because it is not your fault. You did not ask to be harassed. You need to tell this person “No,” because they may not even realize that what they are doing constitutes harassment. Write down what happened and who may have seen it and save any texts that they may have sent you because it is important to keep records. Report the incident and tell somebody about it because your experiences matter. If you’ve consulted the Title IX grievances, which can be found on the SJCC website under Student Affairs and Title IX – Sexual Assault Awareness, and that hasn’t worked you can always file a lawsuit.