CTNJ/Opinion: Stop normalizing sexual assault

Sarah Darer Littman

Sarah Darer Littman

Sarah Darer Littman is an award-winning columnist and novelist of books for teens. A former securities analyst, she’s now an adjunct in the MFA program at WCSU (and as such is an AAUP member), and enjoys helping young people discover the power of finding their voice as an instructor at the Writopia Lab.

“Boys will be boys.”
“Locker room talk.”
“His life will be ruined.”
“But I know him, he’s such a nice guy.”

We’ve all heard such excuses for sexual harassment and assault. Here’s a new one I’ve been hearing in recent days: “But he’s made so many contributions to the town.”

As a member of the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting (RTM), my district chair — until he stepped down as chair “in the interim” — has been the now infamous groin pincher, Christopher von Keyserling. According to the application for arrest warrant, Mr. von Keyserling allegedly told his victim that he “loves this new world because he no longer has to be politically correct,” and when she said, “You’re lucky I didn’t deck you, but if you ever (expletive) touch me again I will,” he told her, “It would be your word against mine and nobody will believe you.”

Mr. von Keyserling thus allegedly stated out loud to his victim the fear of every sexual assault survivor when it comes to pressing charges — that it will be a “he said/she said” situation and he will be the one who is believed and supported by the community.

What Mr. von Keyserling didn’t count on was the presence of a security camera, and according to the arrest warrant, the footage backs up the complainant’s story.

Read the full story at CT News Junkie.

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Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.