Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said she was sexually harassed while serving in the Tennessee legislature. Now, she says she is determined to do something about it in Congress.
In an article published to Townhall on Wednesday, Black said she immediately learned that Tennessee had a “good ol’ boy culture” during her first year in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
“One member always seemed to manage to get on the elevator with me, and proceed to back up until I was against the wall and he was pressed against me. I learned fairly quickly to cross my arms with my elbows out so they dug into his back," she wrote.
"Another member rarely called me by name and addressed me only as ‘Nurse Goodbody.’ It was objectifying, disrespectful and highly inappropriate for any work setting,” she said.
The 66-year-old Republican served in the Tennessee House from 1998 until 2005. She’s been a member of Congress since 2011.
Black said she's now co-sponsoring the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act, which prohibits the future use of taxpayer dollars to settle sexual assault cases in Congress.
"It has come to light that over the past 20 years, nearly $17 million has been paid out by the Congress’s Office of Compliance in various legal settlements, including discrimination and sexual harassment complaints," she wrote. "Using taxpayer dollars to settle those claims behind closed doors is despicable and serves to protect perpetrators while silencing victims. These payments of tax dollars have been occurring without the knowledge of almost everyone in Congress. When I found out about these funds and payouts, I was extremely disturbed and joined my House colleagues in a bipartisan effort to bring transparency to allegations of sexual misconduct occurring on Capitol Hill."
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