A friend of mine, let's call her Rachel, is one of the women going on the record against Harvey Weinstein. She told me at the time about what happened, how what she thought was a business meeting turned into being coerced, bullied, and forced into doing something she did not want to do. At the time I tried to be as supportive as possible and be there for her. Looking back I feel guilty wondering if I could have done more to encourage her to report it even though at the time she did not want to bring charges. The situation was so emotionally overwhelming for her and it would have a been "he said, she said" case against one of the most powerful men in the world who sues people at the drop of a hat. After the story broke last week about him (allegations that so far pale in comparison to what he did to her) Rachel decided to not only come forward but to go on the record. I'm so proud of her for having the strength to tell her story and to take the extra risk of putting her name behind it. It's much bigger than what has been reported so far and I have a feeling things are going to get really stressful for her.

Rachel has great friends and family backing her up but hasn't talked to someone professional about this yet. At the time I think she was so traumatized she thought it seemed easier to block it out and try to move on. I encouraged her to talk to someone as I'm sure other people in her life have and now that she has the courage to confront all this it feels like the time to finally talk to someone professional as well. While she has insurance the cost of a therapist and how much that would cover is a concern she has expressed and I'm wondering if you have advice on places to turn to give her the best information and help as she deals with this situation.

Weinstein Assaulted Rachel

Your letter came yesterday, WAR. Today the New Yorker published a piece by Ronan Farrow in which thirteen women allege Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. Three of the women allege Weinstein raped them. And I believe them.

That brings me to Rebecca Traister's piece at The Cut:

Weinstein didn’t just exert physical power. He also employed legal and professional and economic power... For decades, the reporters who tried to tell the story of Harvey Weinstein butted up against the same wall of sheer force and immovable power that was leveraged against those ambitious actors, the vulnerable assistants, the executives whose careers, salaries, and reputations were in his hands.... Something has changed. Sources have gone on the record. It’s worth it to wonder why. Perhaps because of shifts in how we understand these kinds of abuses. Recent years have seen scores of women, finding strength and some kind of power in numbers, come forward and tell their stories about Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Donald Trump. In all of those cases, as in this case, the history of allegations has been an almost wholly open secret, sometimes even having been reported in major outlets, and yet somehow ignored, allowed to pass, unconsidered.

Makes you wonder what would've happened if only one woman had come forward. Sadly, I don't think anyone who's been paying attention will have to wonder for long. When it comes to sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape, there's very little power in the number one. One accuser bringing a sexual assault charge against a powerful man—one victim coming forward—isn't going to be taken seriously and could be destroyed personally, professionally, and financially. It takes scores of victims. Which means years and years of a predator getting away with it, years and years of bullying and intimidating victims into silence... until what? Until a predator has victimized enough women that more than one is ready and able to come forward. But how many is enough? Fifteen? Twenty-five? Thirty-five? Seemingly every actress in Hollywood?

In the immortal words E. E. Cummings: "Humanity/I hate you."

Relay my thanks to your friend Rachel for coming forward, WAR, as well as the thanks of aspiring actresses everywhere who, thanks to all the women who've come forward, aren't going to find themselves in a hotel suite with Harvey Weinstein. And tell Rachel that everyone—with the possible exception of Donna Karan—is on her side and rooting for her. I'm not sure what resources are out there for a woman involved in a high-profile sexual harassment/assault case like this, but I do know someone who would know and could help: Carrie Goldberg, an attorney whose firm specializes in cases involving "revenge porn, domestic violence, sexual assault, & public figure crises."

Goldberg takes names and kicks asses—asses like Harvey Weinstein. If Goldberg can't take your friend on as a client, WAR, she'll be able to refer her to someone who can.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

Impeach the motherfucker already! Get your ITMFA buttons, t-shirts, hats and lapel pins and coffee mugs at www.ITMFA.org!

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