Social worker hopes Cuomo troubles shed more light on workplace harassment

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We believe you, we stand by you, and we are here for you. That’s the message the YWCA of Northeastern New York wants the 11 women identified in the attorney general’s report to know, as well as all men and women who have endured sexual violence or harassment.

The organization recognizes sharing their stories wasn’t easy.

"I was really proud of them, but also I was thinking about the struggle that they were going through to do that," said Sarah Caterina, LCSWR, and assistant clinical director of the YMCA. "People can feel at first like kind of not trusting themselves, like no that didn’t really happen to me. Not believing themselves, feeling ashamed."

The YWCA says sexual harassment in the workplace is more common than we think.

"Statistically, one in two women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and one in five men have experienced it," said Caterina.

She’s hopeful this moment is a catalyst for change.

"What I hope for is that our young people entering the workforce right now know that this is not okay, that this will not be tolerated. This is not acceptable," said Caterina.

The YWCA says high profile cases like this can often be triggering for survivors of sexual harassment. Learn about the signs to look out for and how you can help someone by watching the video of Sam Hesler’s story.

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