Re: Sexual Harrasment

Wed, 22 Jan 1997 08:36:16 NZST-12


What a thoroughly unpleasant situation for you and your daughter but
not I suspect uncommon. Recent cases in New Zealand have demonstrated
that the kind of attitutde you are describing is often linked to
comcealed abuse and when this is finally revealed the people involved
said "but we thought he was just joking - he was such a nice man" etc.
There is always a dilemna for parents in these cases over what is
best for your child - confronting the issues publicly can produce
devastating responses but not confronting leaves your daughter
feeling powerless. I'm sure there are no easy answers but it may be
worth condidering the following: If the school authorities or
concerned parents are moving towards official action you might want
to draw up a statement of conditions under which you and possibly
other parents of harassed young women would be prepared to be
involved. It might include a commitment to retain a legal advisor,
limitations on publicity, establishment of communication processes
etc. This at the very least makes it possible for both negative and
positive issues to be aired at the start and for people to make
informed choices about involvement.

Good luck and keep us posted!!

Helen Rowsell

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