Thanks to the overwhelming publicity surrounding both the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood and the Larry Nassar criminal case involving Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, most Americans have been engaged in a much more open dialogue regarding the topic of appropriate sexual boundaries in recent months. Given the number of victims and the decades of abuse represented by these two cases alone, it would appear that these conversations have been badly needed for a very long time.
One potential problem with recognizing or preventing similar incidents of sexual abuse and harassment, however, is that many times the perpetrators’ behavior doesn’t appear as extreme or obviously inappropriate as the cases that make the news. Consequently, victims of inappropriate sexual advances don’t always feel justified in calling out the behavior or reporting an incident if it was “just uncomfortable”.
Actor David Schwimmer and writer/director Sigal Avin have created a video series designed to highlight this particular issue and educate others as to where the line defining sexual harassment actually lies. In doing so, they created a resource that allows people in various settings to identify sexual harassment before it escalates to a pattern of abuse. Cosmopolitan.com has helped to publicize the series, called #ThatsHarassment.