CLEVELAND- The firing of NBC anchor Matt Lauer over accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior left many wondering about the next figure to fall from grace.
As the viral “Me Too” movement shows no sign of slowing down, FOX 8 examined if the push for victims to come forward is resulting in an increase in local legal action against accused sexual predators or the companies in which they work.
“I have not seen an uptick in women coming forward for legal action,” said attorney, Cathleen Bolek, of Bolek Besser Glesius LLC. “I’ve seen women coming forward through social media and through their friends’ circles.”
Bolek would know she was repeatedly named one of the top employment lawyers in Ohio. She says the trend of posting about harassment rather than calling a lawyer is not necessarily a bad change in how people come forward.
“The fact that they are not going to lawyers, but they are coming out publicly, I think is good for all women because what we are going to have from all of this is hopefully some sort of fundamental change in the workforce.”
Justice looks different for every victim. For some, it’s taking regal recourse; others prefer counseling. As the “Me Too” movement has proved for some victims, a social media post can also be therapeutic.
Just this week, FOX 8 reported the 50-percent increase in calls to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
“Even with all the headlines we still think only about a third of sexual assaults are ever reported to formal authority, so we still have a long way to go before we have a society who’s willing to talk about sexual assault and report it to police,” said Sondra Miller, the President and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
If you know someone who is being harassed at work, Bolek says come forward. Every new accusation makes a huge difference in establishing a pattern of behavior that can help hold the person accountable.
“I’m not surprised at all by the powerful men who are being called out for their horrible behavior,” said Bolek. “It’s been going on for far too long.”