Pulse on Health: Keep your hands to yourself

There's a song called " Welcome Sign " by one of my favorite local bands,Push & Turn, and it was written about an out-of-hand drunk guy.

That song's urgency — "You're wearing out your welcome sign!" — sums up how I felt after I witnessed what I view as a physical assault by a man upon a woman.

The man and a female partner were playfully dancing in a public venue to a band (not Push & Turn) and they could have continued unabated. Instead, in front of several people, he reached behind his dance partner and grabbed the backside of a woman, one of my Facebook friends, who was passing by at that moment.

I was stunned. After moments of reflection, I talked with the woman who had been inappropriately touched and with a person of authority at the venue.

"Would it be appropriate for us to ask him to leave?" I said, without even explaining what I was talking about.


"Yes, it would!" the woman who'd been assaulted answered, telling me later she wondered if anyone had even seen what just happened.

The person with authority said something like, "Yes, please do."

I didn't wait. I immediately spun around, approached the man, and quietly and calmly said, "We'd like you to leave."

"What? We just want to dance," he said.

I repeated my request that he leave. Whereupon, he said, rather loudly, "We're being thrown out."

He, and those with him, thankfully, left.

Only then did I realize the person with authority had followed me and was prepared to back me up.

The above is background for what I want to clearly, emphatically state:


• It's never, ever OK to grab anyone in an unwelcome, sexually suggestive manner. It doesn't matter if you're sober, drunk, having a tough day or a great one — other people's bodies do not belong to you.

• And if you're with someone who acts in that way, it is not OK to laugh about it. Instead, you should immediately demand an apology be given to the person who was assaulted.

Personally, I will not tolerate such behavior. It's wrong.

It's disgusting.

It's shameful.

It's disturbing.

To the man who committed the unwelcome act that night: The person you did this to is smart, talented and compassionate. I hope you have not scarred her beautiful soul.

And I hope, someday, that yours heals.

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