Friday, February 23, 2018

Safe-dating class in Park City

We keep hearing more about sexual misbehavior from Hollywood to Washington D.C. and in between.

From movie producer Harvey Weinstein to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and other celebrity names. Even Bill Cosby! The veils that for years hid immoral and criminal acts such as sexual harassment, assault, and even outright rape have finally been torn down. These power-abusing brutes and the boorish conduct of other lesser known creeps like them is ending, hopefully forever. But probably, sadly not.

Our society can’t even agree who is correct about the #MeToo movement. Was The Oprah (Winfrey) right or wrong to step forward as a leading spokeswoman of the movement at The Golden Globe Awards/political opinions rally (as it seems awards shows have become)? Many questions about female-male relationships, and competitions for attention have immerged to muddle the discussion. Who knows who is right? It depends on whoever’s opinion you accept.

One thing is for sure. While the veils that concealed the bad actions of popular, rude men in the past have fallen, new veils of confusion, uncertainty, and even anger have emerged around the world about the issue.

We add to the unclear thinking and circumstances of the important topic of appropriate sexual relations if we think the problem is “out there, elsewhere, far away, not in our quiet, peaceful, quaint middle-Yellowstone Valley.” That is not uncertain and confusing. It might anger some readers to learn that the immoral and criminal sexual misbehaviors of harassment, assault, and rape happen just as badly here as in Hollywood and Washington D.C.

#MeToo is not just for female celebrities. It is for our daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, and other relatives and friends too.

The challenge is the same no matter where this ugly issue occurs. Where do we start to make things better? Certainly, legal action is warranted and appropriate where women want to take those steps and a criminal case can be made, after the act of sexual misconduct. However, reacting to the issue is incomplete, and often fails the victims. Justice can be levied against perpetrators, but that does not mean a victim’s healing will follow. The mental, emotional and spiritual scars of sexual abuse of any kind, can last a lifetime. Thankfully, counseling, therapies, and other supports and treatments abound for women who are ready to receive them.

Be that as good as it may, the best measure against bad and criminal sexual acts is prevention, as with most negative things in life. To that goal, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will host a Safe Dating class Sunday Feb. 11, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., presented by Stillwater County Victim/Witness Advocate Manda Browning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services, with several domestic violence trainings, and three years experience with domestic and sexual violence victims’ advocacy. All dating-ages and, especially, both sexes are encouraged to attend. We will only end the awful trend of sexual misconduct together! The church is located at 301 1st St. SW, near the football field in Park City.

Pastor Russell Dewell
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
Park City