“An offer you can’t afford to refuse” 

“If you want to come up to my hotel room the deal is on.”

I am thrilled that finally the recent revelations from so many actresses have now come to light. Currently, the accused predator wants to hide behind the excuse that he has an illness that is sexual addiction. Time will tell and the truth will out.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that sexual addiction and being a sexual predator are two entirely different things. To abuse power, whether it is to bully, humiliate, belittle, emotionally and or sexually abuse is deplorable.

I was told by a friend once that the casting couch was full of this kind of behaviour so the recent news is of no surprise to me.
My question though is this. Is there any profession where this type of behaviour is not endemic?

I don’t believe so. I actually think you’d be hard pressed to find any working environment where it doesn’t happen. I’ve worked in many jobs where I’ve seen it and I’ve been on the receiving end of it. From my first job in a corner shop, to when I was trying to get a deal whilst running a business. I’m lucky I’m a stubborn “kick ass” kind of wiman and the sexual predators in all cases, were soon regretting their decision to make advances, to touch or to joke. They didn’t know me and that was their first mistake.

There are however women and indeed men that are not as brave or in fact are just so desperate to get where they want on the career ladder that they wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the advances or the pressure they were put under to get what they want. I completely see that. They see that there is no other option. If they don’t, it could take them 10 years to get where one night will take them. If they don’t, their career could completely disappear. I know people that have been subjected to that kind of desperate and agonising decision.

I hope more than anything that the revelations this week encourage people from all sectors to come forward and say “it happened to me”. To realise that nobody should have to put up with advances, groping, joking or indeed sexual exploitation of any kind to get where they want to be in life. I fear however, that the lady on the reception desk in the car show room being preyed on by her boss, that cannot afford to lose her job and so stays silent and ‘puts up with it’ or the 19 year old being groped by her manager every time he passes by, won’t be able to come forward because they don’t have the colleagues to actively support them in her fight to say

“Stop, that is not in any way acceptable” or “Enough is enough”

Who will be their voice?

We all need to unite in finding our voices now! Unless we all shout about our experiences, nobody knows they happen and ultimately the sexual predators in these positions of power are consistently getting away with it. Many of them for years, far too many times, when actually, them getting away with it even once is wrong.

We need to start to notice what we notice in workplaces and put an end to this unacceptable behaviour. Now, whilst it’s being highlighted so publicly by those that have an accessible platform that so wonderfully enables them to shout about it and raise awareness.

I passionately believe that standing together and shouting about it from the rooftops is the way forward. It may not completely wipe this behaviour out, but it will certainly make the enablers of it, stop, think and possibly reduce the likelihood of it.

 

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