Complicity and silence around sexual harassment are common – Cuomo and his protectors were a textbook example
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation came after more than a week of bad news, starting with a damning report from the state attorney general’s office that detailed his sexual harassment of 11 women, some of whom worked in his office. An executive assistant to Cuomo, Brittany Commisso, filed a criminal complaint against him with the Albany County sheriff’s office. The state Legislature readied impeachment proceedings.
Then, top aide Melissa DeRosa resigned amid a flurry of questions surrounding her role in protecting Cuomo. Attorney Roberta Kaplan also resigned from the #MeToo advocacy organization Time’s Up after the attorney general’s report revealed that she helped draft a letter that denied Cuomo’s wrongdoing.
As news emerged about the silence from Cuomo’s staff, who had long protected him, and his victims who feared blowback, our thoughts turned immediately to our research on harassers.
“See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” is the title of our new article for the Journal of Applied Psychology, which describes the role witnesses play in helping and protecting harassers. Evidence suggests that, rather than helping victims, witnesses often protect the harasser.
Read the full article at The Conversation.