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MCASA says sexual assault allegations can send mixed messages to survivors

Lisae C. Jordan, Executive Director and Counsel for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. (ABC7)

Stories about big name celebrities and politicians facing sexual assault allegations continue to make headlines.

“It is an amazing moment in history that so many sexual assault and sexual harassment survivors feel comfortable coming forward and saying, ‘Enough!’” Said Lisae C. Jordan, Executive Director and Counsel for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Jordan says recent allegations can send mixed messages to survivors.

“On the one hand, they have more support than ever before, and on the other hand, they’re being attacked and being asked, ‘Why didn’t they come forward?’ That’s not the question. The question is, ‘Why did those assailants attack them?’” She said.

She calls questions about why some accusers did not come forward sooner “discouraging.”

“It gives people second thoughts about whether or not to come forward,” she explained.

She says since some of the accusations against some of the big names, they have seen effects trickle down locally.

“We see an impact in our cases, individually, people talking about, ‘What should I personally do?’ But even more than that, we are seeing more and more women’s groups coming forward and saying, ‘I want to help.’” Jordan said.

She calls the help “empowering” and says she’s never felt this kind of support before.

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