Congress May Implement Mandatory Sex Harassment Training. Members Say It's Not Enough

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Sexual Harassment in Congress

Comstock told the story involving the unidentified congressman at a hearing on preventing sexual harassment in Congress, saying she doesn't know who the member is but heard the story from a trustworthy source.

"These harasser propositions such as 'Are you going to be a good girl?,' to perpetrators exposing their genitals, to victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor".

"Under the current process, congressional employees are at best unaware or confused, and at the worst, utterly betrayed", she said, describing a system where the accused but not the accusers are given free legal counsel from Congress' Office of Compliance, where accusers are required to sign non-disclosure agreements about the harassment, and where, in the mandatory mediation that follows, "survivors are often addressed in an aggressive manner".

Yet she acknowledged it's hard to hold harassers accountable to their constituents if no one will name them publicly.

Lawmakers in Washington are tackling their own allegations of sexual misconduct.

Comstock, meanwhile, told of a young female staffer who went to a member's home to deliver some materials and was greeted by the congressman in a towel.

Meanwhile, CNN said sexual harassment is so common in DC that women share an unwritten "creep list" of male lawmakers to avoid.

Later this week, Speier will also introduce legislation to overhaul the process that victims of harassment undergo when they file complaints to the Office of Compliance, which she has called "toothless" and says is created to protect harassers and not the harassed.

She said that when she was just starting her career in politics, the chief of staff in her office sexually assaulted her.

On Nov. 14, the House held a hearing on the prevalence of sexual harassment in Congress.

Addressing the issue will be complex and "at times uncomfortable", Speier said, as she applauded colleagues from both parties for supporting efforts to mandate sexual harassment training.

"What are we doing here for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?" Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced legislation aimed at overhauling the current process staffers take to report sexual harassment.

"It was a male, who then invited her in".

"Is it any wonder that many staffers never file formal complaints?"

Byrne also called for requiring members accused of harassment to reimburse the Treasury for settlement payments and strictly prohibiting them from pursuing sexual relationships with staffers. House Speaker Paul Ryan has also encouraged House staff members to complete harassment training with the congressional Office of Compliance. The House may soon follow.

House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg HarperGregory (Gregg) Livingston HarperRyan urges lawmakers to undergo training on sexual harassment GOP rep on immigration: Obama and I "on different planets" MORE (R-Miss.) aligned himself with lawmakers calling for reforms.

The lawmakers, Rep. Barbara Comstock and Rep. Jackie Speier, are advocating for reforming the House's sexual harassment policies.

"It is uncomfortable for women to talk about".

"I think it's important we name names", Comstock said of the perpetrators.

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