For Immediate Release
Amy Moritz Ridenour (202) 507-6398 or [email protected]
Jackie Clark (202) 638-1255
Brad Keena (202) 544-3200 or [email protected]
A group of public policy analysts and activists are announcing the formation of the Campaign for Victims of Sexual Harassment and a multi-media campaign to help protect victims of sexual harassment by high government officials.
The campaign will include a multi-media advertising effort consisting of national TV and radio commercials, print advertising, billboards, mail advertising and an Internet web site. The transcript of the television commercial is attached.
Founders of the campaign include Amy Moritz Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research and J. Bradley Keena of the Free Congress Foundation.
The group is primarily concerned with the double-standard taking place pertaining to sexual harassment cases and wishes to contribute to a national conversation about this in the hope of alleviating this problem.
The group also hopes to provide support to anyone who believes she or he has been harassed by a high government official and is afraid to come forth because of the power and media access of their alleged harasser.
Part of the double-standard surrounding sexual harassment cases includes disparate media treatment. While the group has no opinion on the merits of the pending Jones v. Clinton legal case, it does has observations about the way this case has been handled by the media.
"As an alleged victim of sexual harassment, Paula Jones has faced a higher burden than would someone making an accusation against a lower-level government employee or nearly anyone in the private sector, simply because the person she accused had the means and the ability to 'spin' a defense," said Amy Moritz Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "This isn't right. Jones v. Clinton and all sexual harassment cases should be treated neutrally by the press. The facts alone should be reported. To their credit, some reporters have expressed regret over negative statements they once made about Ms. Jones, but we remain concerned that the lesson victims have learned from this case is: If your victimizer is a prominent government official, or is good at 'spin,' keep your mouth shut."
Another aspect of the double-standard is the Clinton administration's announced commitment to combatting sexual harassment in the military, while the commander-in-chief himself has gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to fight a trial on the same accusation. "The commander in chief should set an example for the troops," said Ridenour, "by supporting in word and in deed swift trials in sexual harassment cases with all parties treated fairly. There is not one set of laws for the president, and another for the rest of America."
The Campaign for Victims of Sexual Harassment is also setting up a hotline for people to call for support if they believe they have been victimized by high government officials. Information provided by all callers to the 1-888-HARASSU hotline seeking assistance on alleged sexual harassment incidents will be kept confidential.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a public policy organization established in 1982 and located on Capitol Hill.
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