EAST LANSING, Mich. — During Halloween in 2016, Sharon Thomas, a human biology major at University of Michigan, was walking through the neighborhood of Cedar Village around 8 p.m. when a man called her from across the street. “He said, ‘Hey, baby, you look fine,’ then he ran over to me from across the road,” said Thomas. “I didn’t really register what he was doing at the moment.”
Thomas said the man ran up to her and grabbed her waist while complimenting her. She pushed him away physically, but she couldn’t get him out of her mind.
After The New York Times published a stunning article saying Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein has been sexually abusing various Hollywood actresses and models throughout his career, the discussion of sexual assault has surfaced to the front page news. The article stated that Weinstein, popular for movies like Django Unchained and Gangs of New York reached many settlements with women who accused him of sexual abuse. Actress Ashley Judd came out criticizing the producer saying he sexually assaulted her when she was a young, eager actress trying to break into the business. Judd is not the only actress that has come forward. Since then, actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale and 54 others have come forward with stories about Weinstein’s abuse. Alyssa Milano, popular for her role on King of Queens and Saved By The Bell posted on Twitter “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
Domestic violence and relationship abuse happens all over the world, the United States, and Michigan. In big cities like Lansing, where there are many people in a concentrated area, it is vital for victims and survivors to have access–preferably easy access–to resources that will help and support them. For many women, the first resource they would think of is the police. But victims also need a place to sleep. Ruth Sternaman, a counselor at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, said that in the Lansing area, housing assistance for victims could be improved as well as child protective services.