Sending young women (and maybe young men) to state capitols as interns may be like sending lambs to a hyena den.
Would it surprise anyone to learn that state capitols are dens of sexually predatory behavior?
When you consider what kind of people seek political power, it becomes obvious to anyone how dangerous it would be to send young women to places where such people are concentrated and have control. You’re not only more likely to find predators there, but they are more likely to have ways of getting away with their behavior.
The Hill reports, “Harassment, then helplessness, in state capitals.”
After being groped in public by a powerful committee chairman, one young state legislator in an eastern state, serving her first term in office, decided to take the political risk of reporting the assault.
She learned she would need to report the incident to the ethics committee overseeing her state’s legislature.
Then she learned the chairman of the ethics committee was the man who assaulted her.
For women in state legislatures across the country who routinely experience what they call a pervasive culture of sexual harassment, assault and retaliation, there is often little or no recourse.
Those who have experienced inappropriate behavior say they have found themselves with nowhere to turn, a realization that compounds the harm they experience.
Many say they keep quiet because they want to maintain professional relationships in politics or because they want to be included in the clubby atmosphere of a small and close-knit state capital.
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