Sexual harassment | St. Louis Public Radio

Sexual harassment

UMSL’s Title IX coordinator and chief equity officer, Dana Beteet Daniels (at left), and local attorney Nicole Gorovsky, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, participated in Wednesday’s discussion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute has been around since 1972, there’s renewed societal focus on issues related to sexual assault and discrimination – and evolving guidance at the federal level when it comes to addressing them.

“Colleges are kind of on edge right now with respect to these issues,” Chronicle of Higher Education senior reporter Sarah Brown said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Plant scientist Thomas Brutnell
Brutnell Lab

This story was updated at 3:10 p.m. — The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has dismissed one of its researchers on suspicion of sexual misconduct.

The Danforth Center “has ended its relationship” with Thomas Brutnell, according to a statement released today from the Danforth Center’s President Jim Carrington. Brutnell's biography was also removed from the center’s website.

An investigation into Brutnell’s behavior began in May “upon receiving a complaint of inappropriate conduct and comments of a sexual nature” from Brutnell. Danforth officials then placed him on leave. The statement does not elaborate on the allegations against Brutnell.

Illinois Takes On Sexual Harassment

Apr 5, 2018
Illustrator Pat Byrnes​

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, state lawmakers have tried to address sexual harassment in a variety of ways. We explore what's been done and what some say may be ahead.

Ken Cooper (left) and Bing Dempewolf (right) talked about different ways to address and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Even with more awareness and updated policies surrounding the issue of sexual harassment, offensive advances and interactions in the workplace have not gone away. But have employers overlooked other ways to deal with the matter?

Ken Cooper, corporate trainer and author of "Stop It Now: How Targets and Managers Can End Sexual Harassment," thinks so. He said workplaces need to address the matter beyond the legal ramifications and introduce behavioral trainings once.

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke talks about the evolution of the movement that aims to help sexual harassment survivors.  She spoke at Webster University on Feb. 19. 2018.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

The #MeToo movement isn’t about what you think it’s about, founder Tarana Burke told an audience at Webster University’s Loretto-Hilton Center on Monday.

Burke dispelled three common misconceptions she believes have overshadowed the message of #MeToo, including who the movement is for and what it’s supposed to accomplish.

“This is not about taking down powerful men,” Burke said. “That was a corporate response. The women who stood up have just wanted to be heard and believed.”

Alderwoman Megan Green (left) and Sarah Durrett (right) talk about local efforts to prevent sexual harassment and assult.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

With the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping the nation, we went Behind the Headlines to discuss the sexual harassment and assault on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Host Don Marsh led a discussion about local efforts to change the culture surrounding sexual harassment and document cases of sexual misconduct in St. Louis. Joining him for the discussion were St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green and Sarah Durrett, founder of Combat Sexual Harassment.

Sarah Durrett - Combat Sexual Harassment
Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

When Sarah Durrett’s car broke down in 2013, she started walking and taking public transportation for daily tasks in St. Louis — and was surprised to find herself experiencing regular sexual harassment for the first time in her life.

Some men followed her home, and others whispered lewd comments. One man tried to grab her feet and kiss them. Durrett worried that even an off-kilter look could escalate to something scarier. “You don’t really know what to expect,” she said. “You just become afraid.”

So Durrett began considering ways to challenge sexual harassment in St. Louis. After living elsewhere for a few years, she moved back to St. Louis in 2017 and decided to forgo her car, only to once again experience harassment. That’s when she focused on her ideas to start Combat Sexual Harassment, a network to help women and men who have had similar experiences.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 4, 2011 -  Herman Cain is the latest example of someone in public life to be accused of sexual harassment. Details of his tribulations are growing but many still may have questions about what sexual harassment is and why is it significant.