Faith Filled Family Magazine November 2016 - Page 94

took place 25 years ago. The landmark case was so surreal then and continues to be remembered today. The television program Scandal was a fictionalized drama of the events and starred Kerry Washington who played Anita Hill. Speaking out about such behavior inflicted on her by her high-profile boss brought much embarrassment and ridicule. Yet, Anita says, “I would do it again.” That takes courage. SEXUAL VIOLATION IN THE BIBLE Sexual harassment is a violation of a person’s right to their own body. The concept has existed for many years, in fact even long ago. Indeed the statement is true that says “there is nothing new under the sun” for unwanted sexual advances took place even in biblical times. The reason it was prevalent so long ago and still is today is for the same reason we have other violations of mankind such as murder, theft, prostitution, etc. It is because sin existed since the fall of man, and with sin came demonic spirits brought about by the enemy who seeks to “kill, steal, and destroy” everyone in his path. Perhaps one of the most vivid accounts of sexual violation took place in the house of King David. You may recall the king had been warned that because of his evil plan to murder Bathsheba’s husband, that God said “the sword will never depart” from his house, (2 Sam. 12:10). So what we see in Chapter 13, is a manifestation of God’s judgment. One of David’s sons, Amnon became infatuated to the point of obsession with his half-sister Tamar. So much so, until he decided he had to have her. In biblical times, it was not considered abnormal to marry a halfsister or half-brother. Abraham and Sarah were half-brother and sister. Although forbidden in King David’s time, the act of marrying his sister would have been better than the act he chose instead. Amnon allowed his passions to get the better of him and he went about it the wrong way entirely. Having taken unwise counsel from his crafty relative and friend Jonadab, he arranged for a visit from Tamar. His intentions were anything but honorable. When she arrived, she did as she was asked to do for her brother thinking she was helping to make him well. What she could not have imagined was the unthinkable was about to happen to her. She resisted and pleaded as much as she could, but to no avail. We read as follows, “But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her. Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. ‘Get out of here!’ He snarled at her.” (2 Sam 13:14-15). What happened to the love Amnon had for his sister? Where did it go? Or was it ever love to begin with? Maybe it was never love, but only lust. This is one instance of the extreme of where sexual harassment can lead to, when impure, negative and persistent thoughts toward a person of the opposite sex is left un- checked. SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.” The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is an organization that was developed in order to empower and support women in general. It defines sexual harassment as follows: “Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Very generally, “sexual harassment” describes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” As noted from the incidents above, sexual harassment takes on many forms. It may begin with snide remarks of a sexual nature, inappropriate comments pertaining to a person’s sex, body parts, and then the more advanced it gets, the person may begin to grope and touch their “object” of