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Sexual assault victim finds "Me Too" movement empowering

October 17, 2017 06:28 PM

Heather was forced to perform sex acts at a young age.

"So you do what they ask.  And then it graduated to: well, if you love me or if you want to be with me, you'll do it to my friend," she told us.

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"You finally stand up and you say, hey, I don't want to do this no more.  And now it turns physical.  Now he's starting to beat on you.  And now you don't know what to do.  You don't know where to go.  You try to go to your family and they say well, you provoked it."

She is one of the many women around the world who wrote "me too" this week.

"I think it's very empowering.  You get that power back.  You can choose whether or not you want to say 'me too.'  So that's your choice."

After the Harvey Weinstein scandal exposed long-standing issues in the entertainment industry, Me Too began with a tweet from actress Alyssa Milano: "If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem."

Other celebrities joined in, but it wasn't just Hollywood.

Facebook and Twitter are flooded with Me Too.  It's become a rallying cry.

Women are dealing with sadness and guilt and anger as they remember.

The YWCA NorthEastern NY, which is devoted to empowering women, offers domestic violence programs as well as many other services.

"Those myths and barriers to reporting really are about shame and silence.  And the bottom line is it's really about power and privilege," said YWCA Domestic Violence Counselor Lori Sendra.  "Me Too can allow someone to have a voice to begin affecting change, to be validated, and to have a community of supporters."

Heather wants more for her four-year-old daughter.

"Not have to be in fear of watching what she wears because it might provoke somebody to do something to her.  I want to teach her to stand up for herself. That no means no."

The YWCA's annual Take Back the Night March is Thursday, October 19 at 44 Washington Avenue in Schenectady at 6:00 p.m.

Credits

Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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