How to Handle Sexual Assault…

The case study “How to Handle Sexual Assault…” discusses the possibility of protecting oneself against sexual harassment.

A colleague recently called me for some advice. A female friend of hers was being sexually harassed on a regular basis by a neighbour who engaged in exhibitionistic behaviours towards her while he was in his garden, and sometimes also made lewd comments on her figure and her clothes.

We discussed possible solutions together, and decided that the police would probably not be much help in a case like this. In my colleague’s opinion, the next time it happened her friend should look over and comment wearily, “Not exactly well endowed, are you?” I for my part thought that the woman should keep a pile of water bombs made from balloons filled with tomato juice ready in her garden. Alternatively, a blowpipe filled with cherry pits should also do the trick – simply aim at his manhood, and one hard puff! A friend who was listening in on the conversation suggested that the woman should carry a digital camera around with her and take a photo the next time it happened. Even if the photo didn’t show much, the neighbour would be in a very awkward position as soon as the flash had gone off – not only because it might be shown to the police, but also because he would have to live in permanent fear from that moment onwards that the offending image might be posted on the Internet, “liked” by friends and neighbours and go viral. “You’d be better off with a video,” suggested someone else. “Then you’d have sound too!”

My only fear is that these brilliant ideas were never used; once the woman had these tricks up her sleeve, her behaviour would have altered and the neighbour would probably have intuitively stopped the harassment.

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