You might be happy to know that 99 current members of the Arkansas House attended or are planning to attend a voluntary sexual harassment prevention training course [Source: Arkansas Online]. The training comes after numerous sexual misconduct cases have been brought to light in all industries from states all over the country. Hopefully, the training will help these individuals understand what constitutes as an act of sexual harassment and how to avoid partaking in any behavior that might be misconstrued to be inappropriate.
House lawmakers were already offered three 1.5 hour courses and a fourth session was scheduled to be provided at the end of February for those who were unable to attend any of the previously scheduled courses. Although the training was voluntary, House Speaker Jeremey Gillam reminded lawmakers that a sign-in sheet would be made available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act and anyone who didn’t attend “would be able to be publically identified.”
While you might be wondering if the attendees were signing up for this training out of coercion, Gillam was confident that the members would attend at their own will. And while we can only hope that is true, it appears some of the individuals who attended were grateful for what they learned. Gillam pointed out that one example that resonated with several of the lawmakers who attended “was how some people may be “huggers” while others may feel uncomfortable with the gesture.” This is an extremely important takeaway as it helps people realize that just because they are comfortable with something doesn’t exactly mean someone else will be which is why personal space must be respected so that boundaries aren’t crossed.
Gillam also stated that in the future he plans to “incorporate the training into regular House orientation, which occurs as members are sworn in after election years.” Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang mentioned that although his 35-member Senate is not being offered the training just yet, he may look to do so in the future.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Helps Individuals Better Understand What Misconduct Is
Many of the sexual harassment cases that have been made public reveal that some harassers weren’t aware their behavior was having a negative impact on the person who filed the complaint. They either hugged someone too long or said something they believed to be a joke, but in all actuality, they
offended the other person or made them feel uncomfortable. Although this type of training might appear to be covering basic knowledge, the fact is, lawmakers along with everyone else need to be reminded of the simple gestures that are deemed as inappropriate.
Hopefully, other agencies and employers will begin offering training in an effort to help protect their workers and prevent a case of sexual misconduct from developing.
If you believe you are the victim of harassment and would like to discuss your matter with an Arkansas sexual harassment attorney, USAttorneys.com is available to help you find a professional. It isn’t exactly easy for some to come forward and recognize someone for their misconduct which is why you might want to consider enlisting the help of an attorney and allowing them to provide you with the support you will want and need.