#MeToo has been exploding in India lately and has already shaken some very solid foundations in Hollywood, academia, and journalism worldwide.
I have not met one woman in my entire life who has not faced some sort of sexual harassment in her life. These experiences worsen among women of color.
New advancements have been rising yet most of them are ineffective and unhelpful to the survivors of assault.
When it comes to sexual harassment reporting and suing, one of the major obstacles that can make or break your case is the reporting of the assault. Julia Shaw, a criminal psychologist in her TED Talk recently shared some life-saving information on the best way to report and take action after going through an assault incident. You can watch the talk here but in a jist, this is what you must do or in other words,
How to turn your memory into evidence:
Get into an isolated location and write these things down immediately even before talking to anyone because judgment and reactions can tamper or distort your memory.
1- Timing- write about the incident as soon as you possibly can.
2- Type- a handwritten note won’t have a date and time like a note on your phone or computer, that would later be crucial in your testimony. So use technology to your advantage. Make it time stamped.
3- Relevance- write down things most relevant to your case. It is easy to get distracted and write an emotional account of what happened because of course, it is an emotionally overwhelming experience. Yet, try to think of the most relevant details that can help your statement.
In other words, this is a list of things that your note would need (a screenshot from Julia’s TED Talk):
Julia says just as easy it is to write it at that moment, it is incredibly easy to forget as time passes. Also because our brain is such it tries to block out the bad memories to survive. Hence, she introduced an ANONYMOUS ONLINE REPORTING SOFTWARE called SPOT!
Please check it out and introduce it to your workplace and try to get it integrated. If your employers are genuinely interested in taking a stand against sexual harassment, they will make good use of it.
We all think sexual harassment is never going to happen to us until it does. And I know how scary, confusing, humiliating and stressful it is to recall what happened and process it.
Yet, it is high time the perpetrators have been taking advantage of the silence of the less heard in the workplace and SPOT is a weapon that can help survivors deal with their pain a little better.
I hope it helps survivors and makes positive changes in organizations.