In the vast and tragic history of sexual predators, Larry Nassar stands out. The abuse happened for decades, with much of it occurring during medical exams with others present. However, the most appalling part of the story may be the repeated warning signs that were not taken seriously. Concerns were raised by girls, reports were filed with administrators, and questions asked by parents, but these were universally minimized or ignored. How was Nassar allowed to continue his abuse year after year, even though evidence continued to mount against him?
The Secret of Sexual Assault in Schools
The Case of the Hidden Harassment
In an Ohio high school last year, four boys forced a year-old girl into a school storage closet and sexually assaulted her. In an Indiana middle school, six girls charged a classmate with groping their breasts and buttocks; choking, smacking, and slapping them. In , she was raped by a high school classmate—a boy who had previously been disciplined for sexual misconduct when he was in middle school—on a multi-day school field trip. The rape occurred in the presence of other students. While occasions of adult-on-child sexual assaults on school property claim headlines—and rightfully so—the problem of student-on-student sexual attacks is much more common. For every adult-on-child sexual assault, there were seven such assaults by students, according to an Associated Press AP analysis of federal crime data.
While sexual harassment in the workplace has always been an issue, recently, the floodgates have opened as more women—and some men—are emboldened to tell their stories. In some instances, these alleged events occurred years and even decades ago, and were repeated over a period of time. Why does it appear that those in positions of power, with knowledge of these acts, failed to intervene?
Non-disclosure agreements NDAs should not be used to prevent someone from reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, according to new guidance. Arbitration service Acas has published advice for firms and workers about NDAs, including how to avoid misuse. Several high-profile scandals have exposed how NDAs are often used to silence mainly women alleging sexual harassment and misconduct. NDAs are contracts or parts of contracts that typically prevent staff and ex-staff making information public.