I am glad to see so much awareness against sexual assault, harassment, and intimate partner violence (IPV). The #MeToo campaign has been wonderful and drawn attention to a social ill as well as a sin (to use faith language). Having worked for 25 years in abuse prevention I realize that there is much much more awareness around these crimes than when I attended my first training. Yet, the statistics for sexual assault, harassment, and IPV continue to be the same as they were when I began this work. What has happened? Why have we continued to struggle with the same crimes/sins for millennia, even though there seems to be more awareness through social media, HR trainings, and school programs?
It seems that the underlying cultural values in our world will rear their ugly heads by the time #MeToo is only a memory (but I hope it doesn’t become only a memory). What are the cultural values that keep assault, harassment, and IPV alive?
Normally I would take this opportunity to write about misogyny, although it is a major cause in this sin against humans. Yet this time I would rather focus on another cultural value. It is a value and practice deeply ingrained within us, growing in the best and the worst of times.