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Reader's View: #MeToo article was powerful, important

I was pleased to read about the awareness of and action against sexual assault in the Twin Ports ("'Me Too' movement energizes local organizations," April 3). Sexual harassment and assault are massive issues, and to see organizations such as the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, or CASDA, taking a stand to educate, help, and empower people on the subject is uplifting.

As a 17-year-old girl, I'm very aware of sexual harassment and assault. Every time I go out, I always have, in the back of my mind, the thought of someone catcalling or attacking me, and I know it's not me being paranoid. I know I could be sexually harassed or assaulted anywhere I go. It happens to so many women every day; so why not me?

My mom constantly shows me stories of women being raped on campuses or being sold into sex trafficking, warning me to always be aware of everyone around me. She tells me what to do if someone targets me. I always carry pepper spray on my lanyard to defend myself, and I've also recently taken a self-defense class.

There's a widespread stigma that people using #MeToo are doing it for attention and that it's a "trend." The article dismissed this by explaining that, "People who report sexual assault very rarely lie about it because there is so much guilt and shame associated with it," a quote from Jenna Monnier of CASDA.

The description of the healing process and trial for assault victims was very eye-opening and informativ. The events to raise awareness of the #TimesUpTwinPorts throughout the month of April were abundant and inspiring.

This was a powerful and important article to be published. I'm happy to see such action being taken.

Jessica Waldbillig

Cloquet

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