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WNY speaks out against sexual abuse

On Tuesday, Attorney General James released a detailed report stating Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As findings from a detailed report released on Tuesday by Attorney General Letitia James' office continue to unfold, emotions are high, especially amongst victims of sexual abuse. 

Eleven women made claims of sexual harassment against New York State's governor and while he said denied all allegations and has refused resignation. After a thorough and detailed investigation, the Attorney General said on Tuesday, findings support those allegations and that Cuomo did in fact sexually harass multiple women.

Heather Drevna is Vice President of Communications for RAINN, also known as, the "Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network." Drevna says today's report is proof that the way people are thinking about and discussing sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, is changing - in a positive direction.

"We are seeing more cases come forward, we are seeing more people speak out and we are seeing these allegations being taken more seriously," Drevna says.

Since the start of the 'Me Too Movement,' Drevna says people have become much less passive when it comes to turning a blind eye to survivors and their experiences.                           

RAINN works to support survivors and to educate communities on what necessary steps can be to stop abuse - on all levels.                            

"We need law enforcement and investigators at every level to understand the neurobiology of trauma and how that might present itself when they're investigations a case," which Drevna says is a crucial part of the organization's work.

Another important thing for people to remember as this story continues to flood airwaves is the impact it will continue to have on people's lived experiences.

"Survivors are watching these cases incredibly closely and they're watching how those who come forward, especially in a very public way like this, are being treated," Drevna says.

Credit: RAINN

This is why learning how to talk to victims and survivors of sexual abuse is important. 

Try using the 'TALK' acronym, she says.

  • Thank them for sharing
  • Ask how you can help
  • Listen without judgment
  • Keep on supporting them      

To contact the National Sex Abuse Hotline call 800-656-HOPE.

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