YWCA receiving more calls amidst national sexual assault allegations
"Over the winter and the holiday season we're usually less busy and that's pretty cyclical. This year October was our busiest month of the year," said Deborah Stoll Director for the Hope Center, a Rape Crisis center for the YWCA. Recently their phones lines have been busier than normal.
"I find it reasonable to think maybe the increased national attention and people coming forward has spurred that on," said Stoll.
A lot of men of great influence—Charlie Rose, most recently Matt Lauer have been fired for alleged misconduct. Though more and more women are sharing their sexual assault stories.
For others it's not so easy.
"If you're being harassed at your job and you are in fear that you're going to lose your job it becomes a battle and for many people hanging on to that job is more important than speaking the truth," said Stoll.
Though sexual harassment can be physical it also spans a variety of actions including unwelcome jokes, offensive jokes, statements along with physical conduct. It can also be intimidation.
"When a boss says to a subordinate employee, you know you have to sleep with me or you're going to get fired," said Nicole Porter Professor of Law at the University of Toledo. .
To take on a civil suit against verbal harassment it must be shown as pervasive-- multiple incidents happening over a long period of time.For a criminal suit, there's also a time limit.
"The statute of limitations for lets say a rape charge for instance is going to vary from state to state. Here in Ohio if you're sued under the state law you'd have a 6 year statue of limitations. Under federal law, its much shorter. It's only 300 days," said Porter.
Regardless of the time frame, Experts agree, it's never too late for the truth.
"Women who wait 20 years, I think that's just about seeing justice and wanting to have their story told," said Porter.
"We are finally acknowledging the problem and are being able to talk about it. It's not a stigma for somebody to say that they were a victim," said Stoll.