As the story of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s alleged violence toward women unfolds, we applaud those who have had the courage to speak out and tell their tales of horror.
In the age of the #MeToo movement, nothing should come as a surprise as more and more women — and men — bravely come forward with their stories of abuse. It can’t be easy to share these kind of experiences, especially when many victims are identifying the perpetrators as people of power. A number of those who have gone public want to help others follow their lead.
The New Yorker reported this week that four women claimed to have been physically assaulted by Schneiderman. The story said two of the women contended they were choked and hit by the attorney general. Another said she was slapped across the face and a fourth woman said she experienced similar abuse, according to the magazine.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand were quick to suggest that Schneiderman be removed from office. U.S. Rep. Grace Meng and state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic applauded the women who revealed their unsavory experiences with Schneiderman and condemned him for his alleged mistreatment.
Schneiderman resigned hours after The New Yorker broke the stunning expose. He said the incidents described by the women were consensual.
The most shocking part of the story is that Schneiderman seemed like the last person to commit such alleged abuse. As attorney general he had been a big champion of the #MeToo movement and spoken out against President Trump’s past treatment of women.
Despite Schneiderman’s status, the four women cited in the New Yorker story found the courage to describe their ordeal and support the movement. Their valor should encourage other victims of abuse to stand up against their attackers.
The #MeToo movement, which picked up steam in Hollywood when Flushing-born movie producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of rape and sexual harassment by dozens of women — including several high-profile actresses — has drawn out many stories that otherwise might never have been told.
Every time someone steps into the spotlight to describe their plight as the victim of abuse because others did the same before them, it brings us closer to our goal.
We ask these victims to continue the fight. It’s clear the movement has made a difference.