“We stand with survivors,” says Executive Director Beth Barnhill
Just yesterday, Alabama voters—and overwhelmingly African American voters—rejected Judge Roy Moore as a United States Senator after a series of news stories broke about Moore sexually pursuing and making unwanted sexual advancements toward teenage girls.
Since the New York Times first broke the news of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s predatory sexual harassment and abuse of dozens of women within the film industry, #MeToo has gone viral and people all across the country have spoken out against powerful men in Hollywood, business, and politics.
Accusations against President Donald Trump have also resurfaced, with some members of Congress calling for an investigation into Trump’s actions, and for his resignation.
“It’s unfortunate that so many powerful people have tried to downplay, minimize, or outright dismiss the experiences of survivors who have spoken out,” says Beth Barnhill, Executive Director for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “As a coalition, we stand firmly on the side of the survivors who have come forward and named their accusers, as well as those who have remained quiet. We call on those in power to stop undermining the experiences of survivors for their own gain. We must hold those who do harm accountable for their actions. We are encouraged by the growing number of survivors who have come forward, even as we are reminded that many will stay quiet or feel unsafe to speak out. Survivors get to decide whether or not to share their stories, and they don’t have to say #MeToo to be seen or heard. We see you. We hear you. And we call on those in power in this critical moment to understand sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct are far too common occurrences—and to take action. Survivors deserve better.”
For anyone who may need it, free and confidential services are available in all 99 counties for survivors and loved ones of those impacted by sexual violence. Visit www.iowacasa.org to find services and resources. Survivors and their loved ones can also contact the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-284-7821, or the Iowa Victim Service Call Center at 1-800-770-1650.