Scott Thompson: Is all sexual abuse the same?

Harvey Weinstein attends the TIFF red carpet for 'Can A Song Save Your Life?' at The Princess of Wales Theatre on September 7, 2013. Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images

The exposure of the sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has opened a floodgate of cases where it seems every week another prominent person is disgraced in the court of public opinion, and rightly so if proven correct.

We can never forget the women who come forward opening themselves up to scrutiny, and sometimes ridicule, by simply telling their story.

As with any case, we must remember each one is different, with a different set of circumstances.

READ MORE: Liberal MP accuses Conservative James Bezan of ‘humiliating’ sexual comments

Although both similar for obvious reasons, do we view a person at the same level of abuse who yells sexual slurs to a reporter, the same way we do someone who has used their position to sexually assault someone who could benefit from their support?

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Yes, both are wrong, but do each receive the same shame and punishment?

Do verbal abuses, some of which can be subtle enough to be misinterpreted, fall into the same silo as the fear of a physical assault from a superior?

Both are still wrong but to what degree?

We are seeing this now with a female Member of Parliament who was deeply offended and hurt when an opposition member made a reference to a threesome when posing for a photo op.

Already the discussion of assault has moved from the physical to the verbal.


Many in HR departments across the land are attempting to accurately define what inappropriate behaviour is and quickly develop policy reflective of the changing times.

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What is finally becoming crystal clear is no comment or suggestion that can be construed as sexual in nature is permitted in the workplace.

Which may make many companies question how they celebrate their holiday parties if they haven’t already.

Scott Thompson hosts The Scott Thompson Show! on 900CHML.

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