By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Just a Thought - Don't blame the victim
Lisa Hobbs, new mugshot.jpg

Why victim blame? 

Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. 

Everyone has probably heard about the lawsuit recently settled between Warren County government and a former employee of Warren County Highway Department. A settlement of $97,500 was reached in favor of a female employee who claimed her civil rights were violated. In a nut shell, she claimed sexual harassment, felt hostility from co-workers for doing so and was terminated by Road Superintendent Levie Glenn. 

The article ran in the Sunday, Sept. 18 edition of the Southern Standard – pretty recently, so I will not rehash all the details. The gist: a male co-worker wanted a hug, she reluctantly gave it. He went in for a kiss, and she resisted that sexual advance. 

Suffice it to say, a payment was made and that indicates some wrongdoing was conducted on the part of Warren County Highway Department officials and/or employees. It cost county taxpayers at least $97,500. The county’s legal representation likely pushed that number to well over $100,000.

Immediately after that article ran, I saw someone online questioning why she would hug a co-worker and stating, “I would never hug a co-worker.”  

Victim blaming is nothing new, but it is getting old. I, for one, am sick of hearing it. 

Why was she walking alone? Why was she wearing that outfit? Why was she out at midnight? Why did she go to that bar? Why did she go out with him? Why did she hug a co-worker? Or, for ignoramuses who want to blame the victim and believe that such events could never happen to them, it’s “I would never walk alone,” “I would never wear that outfit,” “I would never be out at midnight,” “I would never go to that bar,” “I would never go out with him,” and “I would never hug a co-worker.” 

Women should be “allowed” to walk alone, wear whatever, be out at all hours of the night, go to a bar, date whomever and hug. Women have the right to feel safe in their lives, both emotionally and physically, and at all times of the day or night within their community. 

It was a simple hug. While I do not make a common occurrence of it, I do hug. There's nothing wrong with it. I hugged James Clark when he left the newspaper to pursue a different career path. It wasn’t inappropriate of me.

It’s obvious that this situation wasn’t handled as it should have been. Do better by your female employees, Highway Department. Punish offenders, protect victims. Get it straight.

It’s bad enough that victims blame themselves. Let’s not add to that by shaming them for the act that befell them. She had the courage to file that lawsuit. I applaud her.

News editor Lisa Hobbs can be reached at (931) 473-2191.