Experts discuss next steps in sexual harassment conversation - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Experts discuss next steps in sexual harassment conversation

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DULUTH, MN -

If you ask women like Jaylen Miller, the influx of sexual harassment and assault allegations shouldn't be a surprise.

"I think it's safe to say almost every woman has experienced like cat calling or like inappropriate advances from a peer or like a supervisor or something. I know I have," she said.

It's the national attention she said that's out of the ordinary.

As a career advocate for victims of sexual assault, Katherine Eagle, said the attention has trickled into the Northland.

"I think I've heard more talk about it than I ever had in my life," she said.

Though that national conversation she said, includes the bad with the good.

"There are clearly people who are not supportive of the idea that sexual harassment or even sexual assault even exists," Eagle said.

As alleged victims continue to come forward, some are applauding their efforts, while others are saying, "enough." 

It's a sentiment women say they've been hearing increasingly. Miller said friends have mentioned doubting the claims based on sheer volume. 

"I'm sure there might be like misunderstandings but women have dealt with this for so long that it's almost hard to imagine it being false," she said.

Others, like Serenity Park have said it's brought forward conversations long overdue.

"They were kinda surprised by the allegations, like, 'Well, we make those kinds of jokes to you guys and you don't feel uncomfortable by it.' Like, "Yes. You are my friend and I know you don't mean it in that way but it is uncomfortable.'"

Eagle said those difficult discussions are an important part of the process, because as allegations come out--and people argue over who should be held accountable--the next step should be prevention.

"We have an opportunity to use this conversation to start looking forward to better address our broader sexual violence problem or to just continue to like stuff it and not deal with it which is sort of what we've done to my recollection kind of always," she said.

Eagle said prevention efforts should include better education of what sexual assault and harassment is.
 

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