Sun

18

Oct

2009

Exchange student and sexual harassment

I saw a comment on my blog, which lead me to write a little about how many options Danish women have to avoid sexual harassment compared with women in other countries.

 

We all have heard about this poor girl who was stoned in Somalia when she was trying to report a rape.

 

Also it is easy to remember a case where a Danish woman on a Dutch plane believed that a flight attendant had his head down between her breasts and she slapped him. Slapping the offender is a natural thing to do,  but the incident happened on a Dutch plane entering U.S. airspace, so defending herself against sexual harassment is not allowed.

 

So when 16 year old Amanda was exposed to sexual harassment during her stay as exchange student, she was left without any possible defense known from her culture.

 

It is easy to blame her parents for sending her to the United States in the first place. They should have able to recognize that the youth culture in this country is far from the same as youth in Denmark experience. Rather inhumane they cannot even drink a beer, but they cannot hang out in the cities half the night as high school students do either.

 

But I believed that they were fooled by an Agency during a poor research work of the host family combined with a host family who had a hidden agenda to get their son married. A lot of the host families are not what they claim to be. Even here in Denmark host families have been fired even after decades as host family when it is clear what is behind the curtain.

 

Could she have gone to local authorities? I doubt that it would have some consequences at all for the offender. If you research old cases the answer is that the offender will get a slap on his hand and the time used on the case could be better used on therapy back home so it is possible to overcome the ordeal in the long run.

 

However I believe that Amanda's case should not be a total lost. It is important to tell her story at so many places as possible. I will print the article and put it up at my work.

 

 

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