The U.S. Senate approved legislation late Thursday instituting mandatory sexual harassment training for senators and aides. The bipartisan resolution, authored by Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Republican Chuck Grassley, passed unanimously.
“Making harassment training mandatory in the Senate sends a clear message: Harassment of any kind is not and will not be tolerated in Congress. Period,” Klobuchar stated in a press release.
Said Grassley, “In the wake of so many scandals and reports of sexual harassment around the country, it’s critical that we continue to do everything we can to prevent it."
As Grassley alluded to, the Senate resolution did not come out of the blue. Earlier Thursday, a disturbing story about politician Roy Moore made headlines. Moore, who is running to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate, is alleged to have touched a 14-year-old girl sexually back in 1979 when he was 32 years old. A district attorney at the time, Moore is alleged to have met the teenager outside an Alabama courthouse.
Moore’s accuser told her story to The Washington Post. In the article, Moore also is alleged to have had improper interactions with other teen girls when he was in his 30s.
(Moore has denied any wrongdoing, and remains a candidate for Senate.)
Stories of men in positions of power taking advantage of people sexually are nothing new, of course. And these days they’re all over the news. Recently, some huge names — liberals, conservatives, straight and gay — have had to answer to accusations of everything from sexual misconduct to rape. These powerful figures include Louis C.K., Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Sheen, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, George H.W. Bush and, of course, Donald Trump.
And it seems new names are continually being added to the list.
While the recent spate of sexual abuse allegations is deeply troubling, it’s heartening to see that victims are speaking out about sexual predators. Their courage to come forward has sparked a very important conversation, and likely has spared others from experiencing the pain they have endured.