If you've missed the
#METOO movement, you've been living under a rock that doesn't offer internet service.
The aftermath in Hollywood, sports, politics and the business world has
been colossal with accusations flying and employment or endorsement terminations
announced regularly. It's now a daily topic in all the news media.
I generally believe that it is best to avoid hot-button subjects that polarize
people in one direction or another, but this subject is most definitely
worthy of some objective thought—no matter the direction your opinion swings.
Views of harassment and sexual assault have been evolving in their interpretation
in the wake of the #METOO movement. Sexual assault in the third degree
in Wyoming is defined as, "an actor subjecting a victim to sexual
contact under any of the circumstances (listed in the statutes, 6-2-304)
without inflicting sexual intrusion on the victim and without causing
serious bodily injury to the victim."
Specific sexual assault statistics are hard to find in Wyoming, but recent
crime stats paint a picture of what is happening in our backyard. According
to the Division of Criminal Investigation Uniform Crime Report for
2017, there were 12 murders, 1,193 violent crimes, 872 aggravated assaults
and 234 rapes/attempted rapes, up from 181 in 2016.
An online survey launched in January by a nonprofit-called Stop Street Harassment offers
some of that missing evidence. It found that 81 percent of women and 43
percent of men surveyed had experienced some form of sexual harassment
during their lifetime.
That means that it’s very likely someone you know, male OR female
has been harassed or worse at some point over their lifetime.
Although the topic is controversial, I hope that it has made you think,
about your personal safety as well as your own behavior. The following
tips can help you to be safe and lead by example.
Encourage civility. Model behavior by treating others and speaking to others the way you want
to be treated and spoken to. Be professional and set a standard for others.
Don't be a bystander. If you observe an inappropriate situation, speak up or diffuse it. Change
the conversation or encourage those involved to do something else.
Tell someone. If you are uncomfortable, let another person know! You don't have
to suffer in silence and you can encourage others to speak up when needed.
Be safe. Be aware of your surroundings and the company you keep. Use well-lit entrances
and parking lots, avoiding isolated places. Lock your car and home, even
when you are in them. Do not take help from strangers and when you feel
unsafe, listen to your body.
Campbell County Health's
Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee
groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn
more about Wellness, please visit
www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist