A Better Path to Decency: Will tech lead the way?
Brittany Laughlin
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[This is a copy of my comment on this topic in AVC.com]

The “system” starts when people do not believe the person/s reporting the behavior (the “Oh, they didn’t mean it” moment.)

This is true for all kinds of bad behavior in our culture.

I am the survivor of a stalking and attempted homicide (over 25 years ago). Every time I reported the behavior of the perpetrator during those years to the police or to campus officials (I was in college at the time), the response was along the lines of “Oh, he’s just in love with you,” or, “He didn’t really mean it,” or, even worse, “You must have done something for him to act that way.” Everyone — from the police, to campus officials, to my own family — discounted my experience until I ended up with a man at my apartment blowing seven bullets through the window at me. But it didn’t have to come to that if someone actually listened earlier on and took action to address the problem with the perpetrator.

When our culture does not adequately address the problem with the perpetrator, then the perpetrator not only continues his bad behavior but he also escalates his behavior because the culture continues to accept it as normal. By addressing the bad behavior from the beginning we are beginning a process of de-escalation and also simultaneously starting the change that is needed for culture to shift its perspective.

I like what is said in the referenced blog post. Cultural change is hard. Mistakes will be made in learning how to adequately address such people/problems. We are imperfect but just because perfection is almost impossible it’s a stupid reason not to start. I hope the tech world can start to lead the way!

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