Time to Speak Up and Call 911 Sexual harassment seems to have fallen out of the news for now. Perhaps the media types are getting tired of pursuing

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Time to Speak Up and Call 911

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Sexual harassment seems to have fallen out of the news for now. Perhaps the media types are getting tired of pursuing celebrities who generate the headlines necessary to keep us all focused on this the most prevalent of crimes in our society and in most societies around the world.

The Catholic church recently updated its official pronouncement that all incidents of sexual harassment need to be reported to a senior cleric in the church. A rather bizarre conclusion, as the church seems to be doing almost nothing about this centuries-old problem. The last place to report these incidents are to religious leaders. These individuals tend to be the organizers of the ongoing cover-up.

Reducing the incidents of these assaults will only happen by escalating the response in a sensible and powerful way. That sensible and powerful way is for the victim to call 911 or whatever your local universal emergency call designation is.

I’ve advocated this for many years and the reaction always remains the same. Business leaders say, “You just can’t flood police authorities with complaints.” Well, duh. Of course they would be flooded. But the most important aspect of these crimes is getting them or potential crimes reported into an official channel.

Another excuse that I hear from both women and men is that using 911 for reporting an incident of assault or potential assault is “unfair to men.” How can that be? Victims of the assaults are predominantly women and the assaults generally permanently alter the lives of those who are assaulted. The perpetrator gets to carry on his activities hunting and gathering future victims. How can the notion of reporting to the police be unfair to those who commit assault?

Sexual assault and harassment are the most witnessed but ignored of crimes in work and social settings.

One of the most common patterns among victims is delaying disclosure sometimes for decades. So the natural conclusion or response tends to question the validity of delayed reports. “Why did you wait so long?” The simple act of promptly reporting the assault to 911 will at least get a police record started and deny perpetrators the cover of a delayed report.

So long as victims and witnesses remain silent or fail to come forward promptly, victims are left adrift and become responsible for their own recovery.

The most powerful response will always be going to the authorities in your locale. Let the avalanche of new investigations begin. The unfairness to men argument is a sinister joke on the victims. What is unfair and not right is loading additional guilt on victims and allowing predators and offenders to continue their relentless hunt for new victims.

If you see something, say something, and call 911.


Hi Jim,

"This is a very belated thank you for your generous assistance to our statewide organization here in Minnesota as we have faced serious and disruptive internal PR challenges. Your messages are so wise and I so value your professional counsel and likely will call on you again! And – I wanted to wish you well in your caring of Barbara.

I’m following your Caring Bridge. My prayers go out to you."

In appreciation,

Association president

Good Morning Jim,

"The dust has settled and I have graduated from the Army War College. I am now in the midst of moving to my next assignment and before that happens I want to say a big thanks for your great book. I learned a great deal this year about being a strategic advisor to the commander from a chaplain perspective. Your book provided an excellent foundation and application for many of the principles we learned this year. I received a great assessment on my paper and the Army Chaplaincy is considering it for publication in its quarterly journal. Your work has contributed the our nation’s care of its Soldiers."

Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel)

United States Army


2019 Upcoming Appearances

October 17th, 2019: 12:00pm ET - IABC Circle of Fellows Podcast, Episode 50, Shaping the consultant/client relationship www.iabc.com/category/podcasts

December 19th, 2019: 12:00pm ET - IABC Circle of Fellows Podcast, Episode 52, The mutual benefits of being an effective adviser and coach www.iabc.com/category/podcasts

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