GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) After guilty verdicts for prominent film producer Harvey Weinstein on sexual assault and rape charges, experts in the east say this landmark Me Too Movement case could impact victims and survivors here.
This verdict comes after a widespread Me Too Movement that called for Weinstein and others to be held accountable for their crimes.
Weinstein was found not guilty on other charges like predatory sexual assault, but many still say the outcome empowers men and women to feel more confident reaching out for help and justice. "Whether a person wants to tell their story to a friend, to the police, to the courts, that's up to each individual person and what they can handle. But I think this helps people think that you know what, I might be able to trust the justice system after all," said ECU English Associate Professor Donna Kain, someone who has put together a Me Too event at ECU.
Laura King, the Executive Director at the Family Violence Prevention Center, said this can have an affect on so many people. "Women aren't the only victims. There are men who are our clients and they suffer the same way."
King explained that their agency had 704 victims of domestic violence in Pitt, Martin and Washington Counties last year alone, and that number becomes much larger when you account for those who did not speak out."The ones we worry about are the ones that don't come forward. And we hope that - or I would hope that if a victim sees what can happen, that the law stands up for them, that they would be empowered to reach out for help," she said.
Weinstein will face up to 25 years in prison and even more charges in Los Angeles.