Opening Remarks at #ThatsHarassment Panel Discussion
Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas
April 18, 2018
Dear students, faculty, and experts:
Thank you for joining us this afternoon to discuss such an important topic – sexual harassment and sexual violence.
The topic of sexual harassment may make people uncomfortable, as it is not always easy to talk about, but we have seen – in the United States, in Lithuania, and across the world – that we have to talk about it, and talk about it now.
Right now in the United States, and around the world, we’re seeing an awakening of women – and men – speaking out against sexual harassment. I admire the victims of sexual aggression who have bravely stepped forward to share their stories. Hopefully, their bravery will inspire other victims to speak out and seek help.
For too long, too many people have accepted sexual harassment as just a fact of life. We must refuse to accept this attitude. Too many women still face tremendous barriers to participation in all aspects of life, with harassment and violence being among the most difficult. This must change.
Women are critical to economic growth and global stability. When women are empowered, communities and entire nations thrive. Sexual harassment does not only harm the individuals involved; society as a whole suffers. We must work together to end this problem.
So it is important to know what sexual harassment looks like, and I think these videos will spark a good conversation on how to identify these crimes.
Thank you to Kristina for moderating today, thank you to Vytautas Magnus University for hosting, and thank you to all our excellent experts from Kaunas and those who traveled with us from Vilnius. We are so fortunate to have such a great group of experts and leading voices gathered in one place!
And thank you all for coming, and now I invite you to watch the “That’s Harassment” videos.