Sexual Harassment Is Not Just A Physical Matter, But A State of Mind

Law Firm Newswire



Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 11, 2015 – Sexual harassment does not just occur in the workplace. It can happen anywhere, even at a protest march or on a college campus.

How did the brothers of the Gamma Alpha chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at San Diego State manage to obtain a ban of their group until the fall of 2016? Several of their members allegedly participated in verbally harassing, throwing eggs and waving sex toys at a group of 35 female students taking part in a “Take Back the Night” anti-rape march in November on the school’s campus.

Most people, when they hear the term sexual harassment, think that it applies only to incidents that happened at work. While that often is the setting for such acts, sexual harassment does come in other forms and happen in other places.

“For instance, it is sexual harassment to wave sex toys, heckle and throw eggs at anti-rape marchers. More specifically, the out of line behavior of waving sex toys and verbally harassing female marchers is considered sexual harassment,” outlines Deborah Barron, a noted Sacramento sexual harassment attorney.
The move to ban the fraternity happens at a critical point in the controversy over how college campuses handle sexual assaults across the nation. Eric Rivera, San Diego State University’s vice president for student affairs, stated, “There is no place in our campus community for the type of ongoing behaviors displayed by those involved with this fraternity chapter.”

It was a gutsy move on the part of the University to take such action. They may have felt they had no other choice, since they were one of four California public schools that a statewide audit lambasted for lackluster staff training and preparation to handle sexual assault and harassment issues.
“In fact, sexual harassment and assault are so closely tied together, one cannot really be handled appropriately without a comprehensive understanding of the whole picture,” Barron adds. Since the critical report came out, San Diego State and other named universities have jumped on the bandwagon to aggressively train their staff and students in all the nuances of sexual assault and harassment.

There is also a federal list of 55 American colleges with open “sexual violence investigations” under a Title IX probe, which prohibits gender discrimination at schools receiving federal funding. Some of the better known educational institutions named on the list include, Emory University, University of Southern California, Amherst, Swarthmore, Princeton University, Dartmouth College and Harvard College and Harvard University Law School.

“If you have been sexually harassed on campus or in another location, you can talk to me,” says Barron.

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