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Harvey Weinstein scandal prompts discussion on attitudes towards sexual harassment in America

Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 05:19:25-04

Florida Atlantic University freshman Carmen Bulthuis knows the feeling all too well.

“It makes me feel ashamed of myself that I'm just some sort of object for them to touch on, but I'm way more than just an object,” she says.

She says sexual harassment from her peers is nothing new.

“It's so overlooked by kids nowadays, and it happens so much on college campuses, and women don’t get enough justice for that,” Bulthuis says. 

From college campuses to Hollywood, the sexual harassment scandal involving Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein is sending shock waves around the country.

For some, it's also revealing an encouraging trend.

“Women are feeling like they can come forward and they're not going to be shut down by someone,” says Dr. Raphi Wald.

Wald says there's no one event to point to that caused the change.

“There's just been this gradual shift over time as we become more enlightened,” he says. 

On FAU's campus, students did point to several events they say provided empowerment, most notably the Bill Cosby scandal, and the shift in the political landscape over the last few years. 

“Some of [President Trump’s] comments have come out in the media saying grab her by....you know,” Bulthuis says. 

Students say continuing that culture change starts with their generation.

“Newer parents are starting to talk about it and tell their children that's not OK, this is the reason why,” says FAU student Helen Edmunds.

Bulthuis had a message for those trying to take advantage of women. “To the boys out there...not men because they're acting like little boys, women have definitely started to be comfortable enough in their own bodies and skins, and their mindsets to stand up to guys like them.”

Experts say if you feel you've been a victim of harassment don't go it alone. 

You should consult with a friend, a psychologist or a lawyer to talk about what happened and how to move forward.

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