GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Time Magazine Releases it's Person of the Year and this year, it's people– the "Silence Breakers" as women whose voices started the movement holding perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment accountable.
"Half of all women in their career will experience sexual harassment." said Karla Kitzman, the program manager for domestic violence and sexual assault at Hilltop Community Resources.
The naming of these women comes amid months of sexual harassment claims against high-profile men like Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, Roy Moore, among others.
"Number one, there are so many people that are coming forward," said Dr. Nikki Jones, Ph.D and counseling psychologist teaching at Colorado Mesa University, "That does not happen in our society. But, secondly, the response. The response has just been unequivocal like you're out of here. You're gone."
Jones is somewhat pessimistic that this change represents a social norm, saying elected officials need to be held to the same standards as other high profile individuals. Kitzman says believing those victims accusing the high-profile men is something that will resonate beyond just that case.
"When you have role models as executives, senators, presidents, who come out and say, 'I can do this because i'm of the position of power' and then when we respond to the victims, we tell them we don't believe them," Kitzman said, "We're asking wrong person the question, we're holding the wrong person accountable for the behavior."
Hilltop offers 24-7 support for anyone who needs help at its crisis line at 970-241-6704.
Other Resources are available in the valley for those who are facing sexual harassement, abuse or assualt at the following places.
Western Slope Center for Children: 970-245-3788
Mind Springs Health: 970-241-6023
The Counseling & Education Center: 970-243-9539
Private couselors are available as well. You can check lists at Psycology Today's website: http://ow.ly/6Z1B30h4d4Y