America’s most powerful men are falling amid sexual harassment allegations

Here's what you need to know

Credit: Bobbi Thomas/Creative Commons
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Hundreds of women have come forward to accuse dozens of America’s most powerful men of sexual harassment.

Now, many of the accused have been forced to justify or make a statement regarding their actions and several have even been fired or forced to step down from their positions.

How it all began

Harvey Weinstein.

The New York Times reported that dozens of women had accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.

After those stories broke, the prominent film producer was subsequently accused by more than 80 other women in the film industry of similar acts, all of which Weinstein denied ever occurring.

Weinstein issued an apology in which he said he is remorseful about the people he’s hurt and plans to “do right by all of them,” according to BBC News. However, he denies the allegations of harassment of women over the past thirty years.

“Often it takes one person coming forward to encourage other survivors to share their own stories,” said Sara Mcgovern, press secretary for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)

He was accused of such acts as forcing women to massage him and watch him naked, promising them to help them get ahead in their careers in exchange for sex and sexual favors, according to BBC News.

Weinstein has since been fired from his company, The Weinstein Company, as women continue to come forward with allegations.

A domino effect

Since Weinstein’s downfall, hundreds of women have come forward accusing other high-profile men of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Here are just a few of the accused:

The allegations sparked a slew of accusations and testimonies from women and men all over the world through social media, particularly Twitter, through the use of the viral hashtag #metoo.

One Australian woman used the platform to describe a sexual assault incident that occurred when she was a child.

Eliza Sharp, 22, recalled the haunting moment her grandfather forced himself on her when she was seven years old.

Eleven years later, I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my parents. I kept it all to myself. It felt like it was my fault for letting this happen,” she said via email.

Sharp said she finally built up the courage to tell her mother after a speaker came to her high school to discuss sexual assault and rape.

Recent developments

Last week, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) resigned from office after several colleagues accused him of misconduct. Other politicians have also resigned under the heat of recent allegations. Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) resigned after multiple women accused him of unwanted groping and other sexual advances. Arizona Rep. Trent Franks resigned after admitting to having asked two female staffers to be surrogate mothers for his children.

Lawmakers are calling for a precise set of guidelines that will empower victims on the Hill to speak up about sexual misconduct.

President Trump is in the hot seat as well. During his 2016 presidential campaign, more than a dozen women came forward accusing him of various forms of sexual misconduct.

Monday, three of those women spoke publicly of their encounters with Trump on Megan Kelly’s NBC show, according to the Washington Post.

Credit: The Washington Post 

During a White House press briefing Monday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee said Trump denied all accusations, adding that the alleged events took place “long before he was elected to be president,” she said.
For Eliza, the women who have come forward in America emboldened her to go public with her own story, although she’s kept quiet for years.
“Telling someone about your incident makes you stronger, it shows that you’re the bigger person,” she said.

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