Zero-Tolerance for Harassment and Abuse

Zero-Tolerance for Harassment and Abuse

Supporting Zero-Tolerance for Harassment and Abuse

I’m glad that women’s voices are finally being heard, but I didn’t need the #MeToo movement to know that sexual harassment in the workplace was a problem. As a young woman, I’ve experienced it myself. We need a zero-tolerance attitude towards sexual harassment and assault – in all facets of our society, and at all levels, but especially in our politics. Our elected leaders write and pass legislation affecting millions of lives, including those of women, and serve as an example to our children of what we value as a society. If our leaders don’t respect women in their own lives, we certainly can’t count on them to make policy that will uphold women’s dignity and rights.
 
We need to protect young people on college campuses and in our Armed Forces, so they can receive a quality education and serve our country without having their safety violated. And statistically, low-wage workers are the most susceptible to workplace harassment, and the risk of losing an income often prevents individuals from coming forward. Nearly two-thirds of Black and Latina women reported experiencing racial discrimination at work.  To start, we must pass the domestic workers bill of rights, so that we can ensure that all people are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace.
 
We have an opportunity to build on the #MeToo movement and root out sexual harassment and discrimination across our workplaces and institutions. Congress should pass the Fair Employment Protection Act to restore protections for individuals who experience harassment from a supervisor and incentivize employers to work toward better prevention methods and timely follow up when harassment is reported. We also have an opportunity to go even further and set a goal as a country to create workplaces that reject aggressive, discriminatory behavior and empower employees to look out for one another. For instance, office prevention programs that provide training for bystanders on how to report or intervene when they see harassment happening have been found to reduce incidents overall.
 
And as a Member of Congress, I commit to being an ally to anyone experiencing sexual harassment. We need to make clear to the leaders of the future that touching a person without their consent is an unforgivable offense. Every candidate who vies for higher office has to see and treat women as equal members of our society. I’m glad that Congress updated rules for its own conduct, but we have so much more work to do to ensure Members of Congress are living up to their leadership responsibilities.
 
The rate of domestic abuse in our country is heartbreaking and it disproportionately impacts women of color, and trans women of color most of all. That’s why I will fight to make it harder for domestic abusers to own firearms, so we can prevent assaults from turning into deadly and tragic events, including crafting legislation that would require anyone with a temporary restraining order to forfeit their firearm, and closing the “boyfriend loophole” which allows domestic abusers who are boyfriends to keep their guns in the case of a protective order. And we need more provisions so that people fleeing from domestic abuse get the services that they need, and don’t experience homelessness as a result.