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'Silence breakers' shed light on longstanding issue

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"The silence breakers are anyone who comes forward on any level about an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence..."

Amanda Wingle is campus sexual assault coordinator with albany’s Sexual Violence Center. She works mainly on college campuses in the area, but says college students aren’t the only ones talking.

“Sisters, brothers, sons, daughters - the scope of those who have spoken out using the me too hashtag on social media over the past two months ranges in gender, age, race and economic status.”

"It's shed a tremendous amount of light on the issue, I would say the most that we've seen in a long time."

"What we have seen is just people generally who call our hotline, it makes them realize what happened to them does matter..."

That's why she, and many others, say the recognition this movement and its speakers have gotten - is monumental.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “It certainly has spurred conversations about what the experiences have been of all women across all sectors."

Sheehan recognizes how the issue has hit home, even recently - with newly elected Rensselaer County Executive Ssteve McLaughlin being accused of sexual harassment just last week. She says the person of the year title is a huge step.

"The fact that these women are being taken seriously is encouraging, and we need to continue though to have the conversation about what is underlying this."

If you want to report a sexual assault, you are encouraged to call the Albany Sexual Violence Center at 518-447-7716.

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