Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Sexual harassment is no laughing matter

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2020 | 12:16 AM


“If you don’t complain within 12 months, please ... you know … cut it out, ’’ said Justice Minister Delroy Chuck recently.

Sexual harassment is a very serious and sensitive issue, and the kind of decorum one would expect a minister of justice to display in discussing this matter was not evident from Mr Chuck during a recent sitting of a joint select committee of Parliament to examine this matter.

He came across as being quite amused when he counteracted the proposal for an extension of the period within which complaints for sexual harassment can be filed from 12 to 24 months.

While I cannot say for sure who it was, even more disturbing was the chuckling on at least two occasions when the minister was opposing an extension of that 12-month period.

Many victims don’t complain initially, may take years, or never do so because of the psychological trauma, fear of victimisation at work, or other forms of reprisal.

Whatever decision is made, sexual harassment should never be seen as a laughing matter.