Avalanche of assault and sexual harassment allegations engulfs US

World Today

Avalanche of assault and sexual harassment allegations engulfs US

On Saturday, the U.N. marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  It comes as the U.S. is engulfed in a wave of allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Dozens of women are now accusing powerful men and celebrities of being serial predators. 

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.
Follow Toby Muse on Twitter @tobymuse

It started with accusations of sexual harassment and rape against legendary film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Many, including actress Rose McGowan, allege Weinstein raped her. She says the time to end sexual harassment is long overdue.

And now, the issue seems to be front page news involving others from Hollywood to the U.S. Congress,  with dozens of women coming forward with allegations of rape, sexual abuse and harassment.

U.S. Senator Al Franken is under pressure to resign after multiple accusations he groped women.

Oscar winning, actor Kevin Spacey is being investigated by police for possible criminal charges.

Television journalist Charlie Rose and political analyst Mark Halperin were fired after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.

With all the attention, some Americans are waking-up every day with the question: who’s next?

While journalism has helped to expose these cases, the power of social media has brought more attention to the issue. The #metoo campaign took off on Twitter, with women tweeting their experiences of harassment and abuse.

Both conservative and liberal activists are demanding men be held accountable.

“You know you have to call out your friends and that’s really hard to do, but if we don’t then this isn’t going to change,” said demonstrator Robert Watson.

The problem appears to be widespread. One recent poll found that 60% of American women said they were sexually harassed while over two-thirds said the abuse happened at work.

The wave of accusations has raised questions over Donald Trump’s behavior before he was elected president. During last year’s presidential campaign, television footage was released of a 2005 recording where Trump was heard boasting about sexually abusing women.

“Grab them by the (BLEEP), don’t even ask,” Trump is heard telling TV host Billy Bush. Trump later explained the comments as “locker-room talk.”

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush has also been accused of groping women. Some Democratic activists are rethinking their defense of former President Bill Clinton accused of rape and sexual misconduct.

Many have compared this time to a revolution. The question is: how much further will it go? And who’s left to fall?