Norfolk residents react to national sexual harassment allegations

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NORFOLK, Va.- Headline after headline, allegations of sexual harassment and assault have been coming out more frequently over the past few months in the media.

"The last few decades, it's been  kind of open secret. Everybody knows it's been going on and it's kind of accepted that's the way for women to get ahead in certain industries as well," says Elizabeth Roe.

With such large numbers of women letting their voices be heard, some question why now?

“It is true that people will look around and say 'okay if this person is going to have the courage to say something, then I really no longer need to keep this a secret,'” says therapist Julie Walls.

Walls says she believes women who have been victimized are afraid to speak up and speak out especially when it comes to men in power or who hold prominent positions within the workplace.

“That sense of how people are socialized to be quiet. You think about the feminist revolution and we think that we are equal, that we have the same voice but you can look at this culture and see that’s simply not true, says Walls.

Walls says there is a cultural acceptance of inappropriate behavior and believes it's up to society to take responsibility of digging deep to find the root of the problem.

“Who’s teaching men that women are objects? So, the ownership is not on women to stand up and to say this is not okay we are not going to accept this and we are not going to be silent, but it’s also an onus of our culture of how are men being raised," says Walls.

News 3 has provided a list of places where you can go locally if you too have fell victim of sexual assault or harassment.

  • South Hampton Roads Coordinated Crisis Response (CCR) - 757-251-0144
  • Response Sexual Assault Services of the YWCA, 5215 Colley Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23509 - 757-622-4300 (24-hour Hotline)
  • Samaritan House, 2620 Southern Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452