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Harvey Weinstein: Staying Safe in Dangerous Times

Man touching woman's shoulder - sexual harassment in business office

Thirty-two and counting. That’s how many women have already come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Last week, The New York Times dropped a bombshell that the veteran movie mogul has been quietly paying off sexual harassment claims to well-known actresses for decades. Sex offenders come in all shapes and sizes and are often not always easily recognizable.

Who are Harvey Weinstein’s Victims?

Since the story broke, dozens of women have told their accounts of harassment at the hands of Weinstein, and that number continues to rise. The sheer volume of voices is staggering. That Harvey Weinstein was able to perpetrate these assaults for so long is, in itself, is criminal.

It shows an incredible amount of courage for these women to come forward to report their harassment and abuse. Some of the names you may recognize and some you may not. And several more have chosen to remain anonymous.

● Emily Nestor

● Lauren O’Connor

● Laura Madden

● Zelda Perkins

● Ashley Judd

● Rose McGowan

● Ambra Battilana Gutierrez

● Lucia Evans

● Asia Argento

● Mira Sorvino

● Emma de Caunes

● Rosanna Arquette

● Gwyneth Paltrow

● Angelina Jolie

● Tomi-Ann Roberts

● Katherine Kendall

● Judith Godreche

● Dawn Dunning

● Zoe Brock

● Romola Garai

● Lauren Sivan

● Liza Campbell

● Lea Seydoux

● Cara Delevingne

● Kate Beckinsale

● Jessica Barth

● Sophie Dix

 

How Can Women Protect Themselves from Sexual Predators?

Sexual harassment and sexual assault can come in many forms. The effects can be devastating. Confusion, shame, guilt, fear, and powerlessness are all emotions that can keep you from reporting a sexual assault to the police. But reporting an attack is a brave and necessary act to stop sex offenders.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect yourself against sexual assault in the first place.

• Trust your gut: Sexual predators rely on social conventions and norms to keep us from acting on our gut instincts. Most people trust in the basic goodness of humanity, and no one wants to believe that there is a monster standing in front of them. If something doesn’t feel right, walk away. A moment of discomfort is better than a lifetime of regret.

• Don’t rely on your friends—but be there for yours: In recent days, Ben Affleck tweeted his support for the victims of Harvey Weinstein. Almost immediately, Rose McGowan replied that she had told Affleck about her assault years ago and he did nothing. There is safety in numbers, but you can’t rely on others to keep you from harm.

If you’ve encountered sexual harassment from someone you know, chances are one of your friends has, too. Having a frank discussion about your experience may give other women the courage to speak up.

Sex Offenders Are Often Repeat Offenders

If someone commits a sexual assault, it’s likely that they’ve already done so in the past. Sex offender registries and background check services like CheckThem.com are vital tools that can keep women safe. Know the people around you and keep yourself informed. A sex offender’s greatest weapon is anonymity. Once revealed, they lose their power—and you gain back yours.

Man touching woman’s shoulder – sexual harassment in business office