• We Shouldn’t Need Multiple Accusers to Stop a Sexual Harasser By Jill Filipovic

We Shouldn’t Need Multiple Accusers to Stop a Sexual Harasser

By Jill Filipovic

September 12, 2018

It took 12 women to push one man from his perch. Leslie Moonves, the chairman and CEO of CBS, departed the company after a total of a dozen sexual-harassment and assault allegations were leveled against him — six over a month ago, then six more on Sept. 9 after weeks of discussions but little action on ousting one of TV’s titans.

This is how these cases seem to go: One person speaks out, or maybe two or three talk to a reporter.

Only after the initial accusations are made public do the floodgates open.

This cascading effect — that it’s tough to get anyone to speak out first, but appears almost inevitable that more voices will then follow — illuminates some of the remaining challenges of combatting sexual harassment across our culture.

….We now seem to expect that a harasser will have a long list of victims, whether he (or she) is famous or not.

But there are consequences to that assumption: It inevitably makes it harder for a single accuser to have her claims heard.

When part of validating a claim is seeing who else has had a similar experience, a dearth of other voices becomes a strike against the veracity of the accuser’s story — regardless of fairness.

This, in turn, perpetuates harassment. When multiple accusations becomes the standard, a harasser has more leeway to harass — in some of the highest-profile #MeToo cases, that meant years or even decades of abuse.

Had a single substantiated story been enough to level serious consequences, there would have been less havoc wreaked on women’s lives and livelihoods.

There is, after all, always a first victim.

The remainder of that article is located here, on TIME

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