BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Since the AG’s office released the scathing report into sexual harassment claims against Gov. Andrew Cuomo – local, state and national leaders voiced their support for the victims.
Experts now say Cuomo’s resignation shows that people in power can be held accountable; and in this case, the 11 women who shared their stories have led up to this point.
“None of this would have happened if [those women] didn’t step forward, otherwise it would have been business as usual,” Carrie Tirado Bramen said.
Tirado Bramen is the director of UB’s Gender Institute. She said she’s hopeful this incident will give other victims the strength they need to come forward.
“There is a real sea change in our society now. The ‘Me Too’ generation is saying ‘no more.’ In the past, predatory behavior would have been seen as creepy, but you wouldn’t call it out,” she said. “Now the lesson that we have is that, even if you are the most high-ranking public official in the State of New York, you are still accountable for your actions.”
Kathleen Granchelli, CEO of YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, said one of the most encouraging things has been the show of support for the victims, and she’s hoping that will continue for other men and women who come forward with their own stories.
But, she said the fight against sexual harassment is still not over.
“Everything has helped lead the way; everything has helped pave the way for victims to be more comfortable – there’s no question about that,” Granchelli said. “But, again, we can’t stop our efforts because we can certainly slide. We have to make sure this continues and that the victims are always believed and heard.”
Governor Cuomo still maintains he never touched anyone inappropriately. During his resignation speech, he said he thought he was being friendly in many of these instances. Cuomo also said the most serious allegations against him had no factual basis.