How Sexual Harassment is Rampant in Healthcare

The healthcare system is facing a second crisis. The Covid pandemic has demonstrated its infrastructure and personnel levels leave much to be desired. However, another problem lurks behind the scenes, one that not many people in the sector are willing to address. Sexual harassment is a growing problem of endemic proportions, leaving a stream of victims in its wake.

The healthcare industry seems to have created a haven for acts of sexual harassment, with perpetrators facing few, if any, consequences. Here is what you need to know about it.

Easy pickings

Many people are at their most vulnerable when they visit a healthcare professional or institution. Predators take advantage of this and perpetrate illegal acts against them, according to sexual harassment attorneys listed in the USAttorneys database. The healthcare system has become a safe place for these offenders to hide as they have easy access to victims and face no real repercussions.

Medical professionals are so well-respected and held in high esteem by society that people do not want to believe that they could be guilty of sexual harassment. After all, they study for many years and carry responsibility for their patients’ lives. How could someone so noble stoop to sexual harassment? The unfortunate reality is that it happens more often than most people think.

A system enabling sexual harassment

The healthcare system has three factors that make it fertile ground for sexual harassment: a strict hierarchal structure, male-dominated staffing, and a climate that tolerates inappropriate behavior. The hierarchy means that sexual harassment claims go through multiple layers of bureaucracy before being dealt with, and many cases get lost along the way.

An overwhelming majority of sexual harassment cases are perpetrated by males, part of a legacy of patriarchal societal structures. For years, medicine was a career field that few women pursued, being told that it was a ‘man’s job’ better left to men, the more capable sex.

While more and more women are becoming doctors, the men doing so continue to outnumber them. Weak sexual harassment policies and institutional structures covering predators make healthcare employees and patients vulnerable to sexual harassment.

Hidden figures

Experts predict that the number of unreported sexual harassment cases in the healthcare system greatly outnumbers those that victims dare to come forward with. Sexual harassment victims are afraid to come forward, knowing that bringing a case to a conclusion could be more traumatic than what happened. They must tell their story multiple times, often to a skeptical audience reluctant to act against esteemed healthcare professionals.

This lack of reporting and the number of cases dismissed without proper investigation make it impossible to provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of healthcare sexual harassment incidents.

The other side

While many healthcare professionals are sexual harassment perpetrators, some are victims. Female healthcare professionals are often preyed on by superiors, colleagues, and patients.

Many do not report these events, fearing it will ruin their professional reputation. People rely on their reputations to garner respect in the medical community, and reporting sexual harassment could make them appear weak.

Improved policies

Given heightened awareness about sexual harassment in the healthcare systems, institutions and organizations are using more robust policies to combat it. The MeToo movement highlighted a need for platforms where victims can report sexual harassment.

Better procedures mean those investigations are taken seriously and subjected to more scrutiny. The rate of successful outcomes where sexual harassers experience punitive measures increases and people feel freer to come forward and report incidents. This has put healthcare workers on notice that their bad behavior will not be tolerated, and they cannot hide behind their qualifications and reputations.

Team Sports to Encourage Diversity and Inclusivity in Educational Institutes

There is no I in a team and there is no one-size-fits-all kind of team either. The greatest developing asset of team sports is that it promotes inclusivity and diversity.

Throughout history, team sports have shown society that success relies not on uniformity and monotony but on the strengths of different people who work together towards a common goal. Educational institutions need to embrace this asset of team sports to encourage diversity and inclusivity.

Be an example

There are several movements nowadays that want to shed light on inequalities and exclusion. As a coach or educational institute, it is imperative to be an example and show the students and athletes the benefits of diversity. Cultures differ and we are richer for it if we choose to learn from each other.

Coaches are in the perfect position to display an accepting character and lead the way for the team to also learn from each other and build on each other’s strengths. If there are a diverse group of athletes in your squad, let them take turns to sit at the basketball scorers table and observe how other cultures do things. Sideline Interactive has amazing scoring boards that will entertain your team members as well as afford several players to sit at the table at once.

Develop a team culture

When there is a diverse group of players in your team, the best way to encourage the team to include everyone is to develop a team culture. This is an organic culture made up of all the different members and cultures of the team. This culture will differ for every team, but inclusivity should be at the heart of it.

No celebration should be done in isolation or while excluding someone. What many coaches find is that although inclusivity might not be at the heart of the team culture initially, it is an inevitable end when a team wins and loses together. They start to see the value of each member and begin to learn from each other.

Promote encouragement

Not everyone on a team has the same level of skill or abilities, but everyone in the team can bring something to the table. In team sports, coaches have the opportunity to use this difference in the ability to promote encouragement and upliftment. A coach should be very strict when it comes to negativity in a team.

No one should be allowed to talk down someone who made a mistake. Instead, teammates should have each other’s backs and encourage each other to improve. This can only be done when winning is not the main goal but rather the development of a team.

Be deliberate in selection

Coaches want to have the best players on their teams, but this means that all bias should be thrown out the window. Regardless of background, creed, or culture, a coach needs to look at talent and will find that it hides in the most unlikely of places. A mixed team is often the result and then it is the coach’s job to pair teammates who differ so that they can learn from each other.

Address the elephant in the room

A close-knit team is like a family and every member of a family has their baggage, history, personality and beliefs. Conflict is bound to come up and the last thing that a team wants is for the division to occur. Therefore, whenever there is a heated topic or controversial issue in a team, it should be spoken about openly. Hiding away from it or pretending it is a non-issue will only divide a team.

The Inside Out of Life After Divorce with a Baby

Contrary to popular belief, divorce is not easier on children when their parents split while they are infants. It affects children of all ages in different ways, and babies are no exception. Indeed, babies and toddlers struggle as much with a divorce as they cannot express their emotions in words.

After a divorce, life with a baby is challenging, and parental cooperation is necessary to make it successful. Here are some of the realities parents and children will face:

Frustration

Emotions run high during a divorce. People’s feelings are hurt and calm rational conversations might feel impossible. The best child custody lawyers from USAttorney state that emotions can cloud divorce agreement discussions, especially related to custody. Both parents feel frustrated by the situation. In a typical divorce, one spouse is eager to get it over with and start a new life, while the other is still in shock and feeling devastated about the situation.

Many parents feel frustrated about being left to care for a baby alone. Working and being a single parent is a challenging prospect, and they worry about coping without their spouse’s support.

Mistrust

The idea of leaving their baby in the other spouse’s custody fills many parents with fear. They worry that their ex-spouse will not care for their child properly. These trust issues might come from betrayal in the marriage that had nothing to do with their children. For instance, one spouse might translate the other’s infidelity into them not being trustworthy in any way, including as a parent.

Overcoming these feelings of mistrust is challenging, and parents must separate their feelings about the breakdown of their relationship from their child’s best interests. They need to understand that they cannot remain in control all the time and must rely on their ex-spouse to do what is necessary while the baby is in their care.

Communication

Divorce can never be a clean break when a child is involved. Parents are linked forever by their offspring. This means having to communicate with each other after a divorce. For some ex-spouses, the thought of managing this is unbearable as they are still hurt and upset about what has transpired.

When feelings run high, it is easy to bring up past hurts in conversations between former spouses. Each should concentrate on limiting what they discuss to matters regarding the child, always remembering that it is in their baby’s best interests to keep the communication channels open.

Fear

When an ex-spouse moves on and starts a new relationship, the other former partner will instantly panic about being replaced by a stepparent. This is a terrifying prospect as parents fear that their child will like the stepparent more than them and reject them. It leads to feelings of anger and resentment, leading parents to badmouth the other parent and their partner.

Overcoming this fear is challenging, but it is typically unfounded. Children might form an attachment to a stepparent, but that person can never replace their biological parent. Provided parents remain active in their baby’s life, they are unlikely to experience this.

Additional stress

Babies are perceptive and understand that things around them are changing. Most do not respond to this prospect positively as they thrive on routine and things staying as they are. Any disruptions cause them emotional distress that they could express through clinginess, extreme emotional reactions, and developmental regression.

It takes babies a while to settle into a new routine and environment, and parents need to be patient with themselves, their child, and their ex-spouse. The child might have difficulty eating and sleeping for an initial period until they feel safe again.

ASA Culture Show

On Tuesday, the Asian Students Association finally held their annual culture show. The show was originally scheduled for Friday January 22, but surprise Snowstorm Jonas forced it to be postponed. Themed “Lost & Found,” ASA aimed to explore Asian/Asian American issues of race, culture, and reinvented identity through a variety of empowering performances.

This was the first time the culture show took place in Goodhart Hall, instead of Thomas Great Hall. It was time for the Asian /Asian American performing arts to get the presence it deserved on the grandest stage at Bryn Mawr College. Goodhart is notoriously difficult to book for student productions because theater and the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series take priority, so ASA had to settle for a Tuesday night show the week before break — and during midterms. Nonetheless, the show went on with an intimate audience of around 90 people. I was pleasantly surprised to even see some Swarthmore and Haverford students make the trek to see the show.

The two guest performers were Yellow Rage, a Philly-based Asian American female spoken word duo Michelle Myers & Catzie Vilayphonh, and Sung Lee, Beatboxer, LiveLooper, Vocal Extraordinaire. Student performers included Choom Boom, the Bi-College Asian Pop Dance Club, Vietnamese Students Association, and many students participated in the Fashion Show.

I had actually suggested inviting Yellow Rage and Sung Lee to the culture show. I had heard of Yellow Rage last year at another ASA meeting where we watched “Listen Asshole.” Their angst and power as Asian American female spoken word artists blew me away. I was even happier to find that they were from Philly, so they wouldn’t have to travel so far to come to Bryn Mawr.

I had heard of Sung Lee two summers ago interning at the Asian American International Film Festival. The McDonald’s B-Boy Royale competition dropped off postcards to hand out at our film festival in exchange for 5 free tickets to the B-Boy competition at NYU Skirball. I went to watch, and Sung Lee was one of the opening artists (Dumbfoundead, a rapper I also like, emceed). I saw Sung Lee perform a year later at the ECAASU Holiday Benefit Concert.

The Culture Show Committee made it possible to bring these artists to Bryn Mawr by offering honorariums and contracts through Student Activities. Special Events and the Goodhart Technical Theater staff also played an integral role in making the culture show happen.

I had the honor of being on the Culture Show Committee once again this year as their print publicity designer (I designed the posters and social media graphics). I also performed with Choom Boom. The Culture Show Committee had been planning this show for months, so by showtime, we were all pretty close friends as well. ASA has been a central part of my Bryn Mawr experience, having joined my first year and serving two years on the executive board as Publicity Chair and Co-President. I am already looking forward to next year’s culture show. Hopefully, next year we’ll get a prime weekend showtime.