Predators In The Workplace

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Conchita Sarnoff Executive Director, Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking
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“I did not have sex with that woman.” Famous last words before an impeachment proceeding rocked the Clinton White House on December 19, 1998 and tainted his legacy forever.

A 20th Century batch of powerful men: Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Weiner, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Alan Dershowitz, and the latest casualty, Mark Halperin, seem to share a number of secrets alongside a fierce ambition and drive.

According to the latest CNN report, Mark Halperin, 52, former political director at ABC and author of “Game Change,” lost his book deal at Penguin Press this week while HBO pulled his project after three women accused him of sexual harassment while on the job.  The three women did not work directly for Mr. Halperin.

Apparently and without consent, Halperin pressed his erection against their bodies, still fully dressed, and grabbed the women’s breasts. He kissed one woman against her will. Mr. Halperin denies the allegations and said he did not “grab a woman’s breasts and press his genitals against the three women.”  Instead, Mr. Halperin, like the other powerful men caught with their hands in the cookie jar, issued a public apology.

Sexual harassment is not new. Perhaps, like prostitution, it is the oldest ‘trick’ in the book.

What is news, is the attention sexual predators bring to the corporate and political worlds that seem rife with complaints of sexual abuse lurking at every corner.

Perhaps the only momentary solution to this problem, before a national educational campaign can kick in, with resources attached, is for corporations and political institutions to hire outside evaluators to work with and supervise the Departments of Human Resources. Two heads are always better than one when listening to a complaint.

According to Gretchen Carlson, a former FOX reporter, responsible for Roger Ailes’ departure from Fox, the Department of Human Resources is not always on the employer’s side.  Why? Because employees of HR Departments, across industries, are getting their pay checks from the company they represent.  It makes sense these folk, are not exactly on the victim’s side.

In industry, as in politics, there is an enormous power dynamic at play and the career repercussions are colossal. For years, women who have worked in either field and most recently in Silicon Valley have felt trapped. In fear of losing their livelihood they do not speak out because if they did their life-line would be jeopardized.

The psychology behind sexual abuse of a child is not that different although on the outside it appears to be that way. Predators who sexually exploit children, adult females or males innately understand two human frailties: the vulnerability factor and powerlessness of their victim. In the extreme case of sexual exploitation and abuse of a child, it is usually law enforcement and other adults, not the Department of Human Resources, with vested interests that keep a case closed and out of the Court of Public Opinion. The powerful protect the powerful and create the roadblocks to justice and restitution. Perhaps that too is changing.

Views expressed in op-eds are not the views of The Daily Caller.