Don't protect sexual assaulters on Capitol Hill
Right now, thanks to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, sexual offenders or harassers in the government are shielded from public exposure. Even worse, Congress is funding a U.S. Treasury account that effectively serves as “hush money” to pay off claims for sexual harassment and other discrimination in Congress. According to one report, over 15 million dollars of taxpayer money has been used to settle these kinds of claims. This is a national outrage! Congressional members or staff who engage in chronic sexual harassment should not be allowed to hide in the shadows. I have three requests: 1) release the names of Congressional members and staff who have been accused of sexual harassment or assault, 2) stop using taxpayer money to settle cases involving sexual exploitation, 3) include a discussion of the harms of pornography in any sexual harassment training for members and staff. Research clearly documents the link between pornography and sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors. For example, a 2000 meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of exposure to pornographic material are “clear and consistent,” and that pornography use puts people at increased risk for committing sexual offenses and accepting rape myths. And a 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression. The problem of workplace sexual harassment has not emerged in a vacuum but it flourishes in the context of pornography consumption. It’s time to create a more holistic training program that addresses root causes of sexually violent or inappropriate behaviors. Together, we can call our elected officials to be more transparent and honest about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.
This action is only for U.S. citizens.
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