Risk Factors to Vulnerability
Risk factors are contributory reasons that make women vulnerability to cases of sexual abuse. Premised on the PBS Frontline documentary on Rape in the Fields, a number of predisposing factors have been profiled to having significant contributions towards rape in women. Over 2000 immigrant women and underage girls working in the American fields accused their supervisors of sexually abusing them. The situation was attributed to a number of risk factors:
Women working in the American fields and the packing plants are forced to stay there because they need to provide for their families. They have to fend for themselves and their families. They are sexually exploited by their supervisors. These women elucidate that failure to corporate meant they lost their jobs. The supervisors used their powers to sexually abuse the female workers. Other women were raped at gun point by their supervisors and co-workers but would not leave their jobs because they needed money to survive with their families.
Societal perceptions that regard women as being inferior and sexually submissive is attributed to the sexual harassment women are being subject to in the film. For instance, supervisors of the apple’s Evans firm simply took advantage of the female workers considering them to be submissive and sexual objects. Women fear reporting the cases of sexual violence meted against them.
Weak sexual violence laws and policies
Weak regulations have been put in place by the state to ensure that women are protected from sexual violence in their workplace. The few women who report are subjected to investigations that require evidence for justice to be administered. Often, culprits of sexual violence go unpunished.
Remedies to Sexual Abuse
Perpetrators of sexual abuse should be judged in the court of law. This will help enforce order in workplaces and help stop sexual assaults meted to female workers. Cases of perpetrators being punished will help scare other supervisors and co-workers from perpetrating similar sexual assaults to female workers. Consequently, this will help cases of rape from happening in the first place. Female workers should not fear reporting any case of attempted or sexual harassment cases to the law enforcers for appropriate actions. Fear of reporting has been a platform of the perpetrators to continue with sexual harassment.
Social Service Providers
Social service providers play a significant role responding to incidents of sexual abuse and harassment meted to female field workers. Additionally, they have a role to play in preventing assaults from taking place. They should conduct training sessions to educate female workers to cope with stressful working conditions. Setting up of Assistance Programs, Security, and Employee Relations are helpful as they will enable female workers to develop skills that will enable them handle stress that is prompted from sexual assault from supervisors. Consequently, the acquired skills will enable women to potentially handle violent situations when they arise. Training female workers on how avoid or cope with sexual abuse attempts is positively correlated with prevention of workplace violence and other psychological disorders.
The social service providers should help female workers develop emotional intelligence. I-O psychologists should help female employees to develop their ability to reason, understand, accommodate, and react rationally to different sexual harassment situations at the workplace. Helping the female workers develop skills to handle attempts of sexual violence at workplace will foster their ability to control their emotions, influence, and connect colleagues to report such sexual abuse incidents to supportive agencies.