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Letter: Sexual assault victims should feel empowered

Sexual assault victims should feel empowered

I applaud women for speaking up on sexual assault and harassment by powerful men. This has been a long time coming.

Now what about those family members and friends of family members who do the same thing? They threaten their victims with harm or worse to keep them silent. Or they give no warning knowing they’ve instilled a form of guilt on their victims. The victims remain silent for decades.

Sometimes the victims may get an apology from their tormentors with an added “I’m a Christian now and God forgives me.” People use that statement like it’s going to end the victims’ torment. Sorry but that statement makes it worse. It’s almost like the guilty put another piece of tape over a victim’s mouth.

Victims should be able to press charges against a person who sexually assaulted, or sexually harassed a person no matter how much time has passed. Especially for those who were victims as children and are now adults.

I was sexually harassed by a former family member beginning when I was a young teenager, until I was in my 30s. He knows who he is. If I could get justice for that now I would.

Karen Clontz Patterson

Orchard Park

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