Church Posts Sign - “Stop Sexual Harassment -- Wear Clothes”

Emmanuel Baptist Church

The residents of Jeffersonville, Indiana, were angered by a ridiculous church sign saying: STOP SEXUAL HARASSMENT – WEAR CLOTHES. With this statement the church infuriated residents of this town and many of them raised their voice against it.

“This brought tears to my eyes, and, I’m sorry, but being a resident in this town of mine that I love, I don’t accept this and I do not see that anyone should accept this,” Jeffersonville resident Melissa Scully said.

Jeffersonville, a small town in Clark County, Indiana, with population of approximately 47,000, had this controversial sign placed in front of the church that has been a part of the Jeffersonville community since 1908, according to its Facebook page. Stop sexual harassment – wear clothes, was an appalling statement, suggesting that victims were responsible for sexual assaults against them, rather than the attackers. According to the sign, the clothes that a person wears are the reason why that person is being sexually harassed, and this is the very definition of victim-blaming.

This sign could mean that we can come up with an idea that women who cover themselves up, like Muslim women in full burqas, never get harassed or raped, and that is just not true. It is not the victim to blame for any type of sexual harassment, and with this sign the harassers are completely absolved of any personal responsibility for their actions.

The community of Jeffersonville was outraged and luckily they stood up against this (some may say), dangerous sign: “As a mom of two daughters, this infuriated me. As a female myself, this infuriated me. As a human being, this infuriated me,” Jeffersonville resident Allyson Condra said.

“I mean, would you say that to a 6-year-old girl who has been assaulted when they wear overalls and pigtails,” Jeffersonville resident Madilyn Shipman said.

“Pretty much any female regardless of shape, size, color, race, what they look like, what they dress like, have been a victim of some type of sexual harassment in the past,” Opal Lavon, a Jeffersonville resident, said. “So it's just completely inappropriate and out of line for anybody or any entity to put that message out there.”

The pastor of the church said that he never approved the sign and that he didn’t know who put that sign up. Shortly after he found about it the controversial message was removed but, with the anger it caused, the damage was already done.

Photo Credits: Patheos

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