A new law punishing sexual harassment has entered the Greek penal code, apparently a first for
My husband and mother-in-law were a bit shocked at that last fact. Certainly, it might be hard for someone to prove their innocence, although I’d think it is just as hard to prove you were harassed. I can see both sides of the argument for burden of proof – on one hand, with the reluctance of most women to come forward on sexual harassment charges, this certainly makes it easier on them. But on the other hand, it could lead to the conviction of innocent people.
In 1998, two Supreme Court rulings made the resolution of sexual harassment cases even more difficult for employers. According to an article by Jim Collison, “any behavior of even a remotely sexual nature, which an employee finds threatening or offensive, or such behavior which is unwanted by the employee...can trigger a sexual harassment charge” and “under the court's new rulings, an employer can be liable even when the harassed employee fails to inform the employer of the objectionable behavior.”
It seems that
There is a line that can be crossed, and has been crossed, and these people should be punished for it. But we have to develop a fairness when it comes to sexual harassment laws as well. While I want women who have been genuinely harassed to feel free to come forward, I don’t want innocent men (or women!) prosecuted. And I strongly feel that anyone who makes false claims for their own reasons (revenge, benefit, what have you) should face punitive charges as well, because their prevarication hurts real victims.
I suppose the real question is how can the law deal with this issue with proper sensitivity and fairness? I don’t know if I have the answer to that. I just hope Greek judges can adjudicate the proper line between fairness and ridiculousness.