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BREAKING: Harvey Weinstein is Found Guilty of Criminal Sexual Act, Rape; Women’s Group Reacts

UltraViolet Says Verdict is a Win for Sexual Abuse Survivors, But That the Justice System Still Remains Skewed in Favor of Abusers

NEW YORK - Moments ago, a jury in the New York Supreme Court convicted disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

In reaction to the announcement, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, a leading national women’s group that was the first to suggest to the The New York Times’ Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey that Harvey Weinstein be investigated and has been a leading voice in the accountability movement for powerful abusers, including Weinstein, issued the following statement:

“Today is a historic victory for survivors of sexual abuse everywhere, and the #MeToo movement that emerged in the wake of the courageous women who came forward to share their stories about Weinstein’s predatory and abusive behavior. This verdict sends a clear signal that sexual abusers everywhere can and will be held accountable for their crimes – even if they enjoy significant positions of power.

“While the evidence against Weinstein was overwhelming, today’s verdict was not guaranteed. Survivors of sexual abuse often face tremendous obstacles in the legal system that block them from winning the justice they deserve. We must do better to ensure that survivors are not only protected under the law, but empowered to pursue a path toward justice.

“For too many Americans, often low-income women of color whose abuser does not have a public profile, that justice is out of reach. There remain hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits around the country, and when sexual abuse does go to trial – less than one percent result conviction, and even less result in actual penalties for the abuser. We need to do better for all survivors, and hopefully, this is the start of a justice system that is more attuned to the realities that survivors of abuse face.

“Jessica Mann, Miriam Haley, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Taralae Wulff and Lauren Young showed tremendous courage in testifying against Weinstein and sharing their stories. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

“While the fight to stop the pervasive effects of rape culture is far from over, today is a good day.”

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UltraViolet is an online community of over 550,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media.  Find out more at WeAreUltraViolet.org

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