C.W. Park USC Lawsuit and How It Has Important Implications for Addressing Sexual Harassment and Assault

C.W. Park USC Lawsuit for Sexual Harassment and Assault

What is C.W. Park USC lawsuit?


What is C.W. Park USC lawsuit? How does it have major implications for the treatment of sexual violence in America and in other parts of the world? This article will answer it.

A former Marshall student lifted the lid on sexual harassment by a professor and filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit is based on allegations of sexual harassment and assault over 3 years by a professor of Korean descent, C.W. Park. In the lawsuit materials, Professor Robert E. Brooker and the director of the Global Branding Center are also mentioned. Professor C.W. Park faces charges of sexual harassment and assault, infliction of emotional distress, and civil rights violations. Two others face charges of failure to prevent discrimination and sexual harassment. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The plaintiff did not mention her name in the lawsuit materials. She was hired as Park’s assistant in August 2016 and had since been targeted by Park who used her authority to sexually manipulate the plaintiff on USC premises.

The lawsuit also states that there were three other female victims, all of whom were Korean-American. They faced the same sexual violence as that experienced by the plaintiff. There are also several complaints indicated in the lawsuit regarding other students who appear to be experiencing similar situations.

One interesting aspect of the lawsuit is the fact that USC knew that Park tended to sexually abuse young female students, even before he hired the plaintiff as his assistant. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff demands criminal penalties and material compensation related to her significant financial losses due to the trauma that came from the sexual harassment and assault she experienced. It was stated that Park restricted the plaintiff from speaking with supervisors regarding the harassment she experienced, thereby increasing her suffering in terms of interactions with others.

USC responded to the lawsuit and stated that they take it very seriously, use a comprehensive process to review it, and support measures for the parties involved will be provided through their Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.

Sexual harassment against women, whether in the workplace or in public spaces, affects fundamental rights such as integrity and the free development of personality. In these types of cases, comments often circulate that try to justify these behaviors or exonerate those responsible. Therefore, it is important to analyze these arguments from a human rights and gender equality perspective.


Why doesn’t the victim report?


Sexual harassment is the most common form of violence against women. However, it is rarely reported, due to fear, shame, and the targeting of victims. We must not forget that victims face not only the social judgment of their behavior but that, many times, it is the authorities themselves who issue disqualifying opinions and subject them to procedures that re-victimize them.


They are simply risqué expressions


In reality, phrases with sexual content, in double meaning, pointing to parts of women’s bodies, among others, have nothing to do with respect and appropriate ways of communicating in work and/or public spaces. Many men, in a sexist cultural environment, feel they have the right to make comments about women, invading their personal space and affecting their rights. Let us not forget that the basis of these behaviors is the power relations that support the superiority of the masculine, which allows them to have these attitudes and objectify women.


Provocative clothing justifies acts of sexual harassment


Violence should never be justified, we all have the right to be free, and to dress as we feel most comfortable. This statement holds women responsible, blames them for acts of sexual harassment, and makes the actions of the aggressor invisible. Let us keep in mind that an important and highly vulnerable sector of this type of attitude is schoolchildren, so it makes no sense to refer to clothing. Once again, it is about power over women’s bodies, which is supported by the fact that these cases – for the most part – remain unpunished.


Adult women are not subject to sexual harassment


The different forms of violence against women are not differentiated by age, education, or socioeconomic level, among other personal characteristics. Everyone must receive the same treatment, no matter who the victim is, who the perpetrator is, and in which area the sexual violence occurs. All victims are the same and all perpetrators are the same. This is a principle that must be adhered to before it comes to dealing with any sexual violence.


Those affected lie and/or are exaggerated


In cases of sexual violence, victims are often identified as people who lie, and who want to use complaints as a form of revenge or to harm the aggressors. These statements do not take into account that reporting an act of sexual violence entails an emotional cost for women, who often face a social environment and a justice system that blames them for what happened. One should not start from the prejudice that all victims lie; rather, one should guarantee that the investigation processes respect the rights of those involved, in order to avoid impunity.


What are the implications of the C.W. Park USC lawsuit? Why is that important? 


C.W. Park USC lawsuit had major implications for law enforcement in the United States because it made many people aware that sexual harassment and assault can occur anywhere, even on campus by someone who should have high moral standards not to do so. The lawsuit also provides awareness for many “educated victims” in the United States and the world to dare to fight against the injustice that befell them.

Sexual harassment and assault can happen anywhere, by anyone, and happen to anyone. All people who are victims must be given intensive assistance because any sexual violence always causes severe trauma for the victim and in many cases, it can last a lifetime. Sexual harassment and assault is our common enemy and C.W. Park USC lawsuit provides valuable lessons about how to respond to such situations.

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