RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh attorney who started the #MeAt14 social media campaign says she’s surprised by the attention it’s received and the willingness of some to share their personal stories of surviving sexual assault.
“I hope that these are signs that we’ve kind of reached a tipping point of silence being used to protect abusers,” said Cat Lawson.
Lawson tweeted using the hashtag Thursday a few hours after the Washington Post reported on four women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) of sexual misconduct.
One woman said she was 14 when Moore initiated sexual contact with her.
“The point is, you’re a kid. You’re a child. And, the responsibility of adults around children is to protect them, not to exploit them,” Lawson said.
Over the weekend, celebrities even began posting using the hashtag. Among them are co-creator of the “Daily Show” Lizz Winstead, Alyssa Milano, Katie Couric and Sarah Silverman.
Lawson said some people also reached out to her directly, saying they were publicly sharing their experiences of having been sexually assaulted for the first time.
“I definitely hope the people who have come forward and the people who have platforms far larger than mine ever will be, do use them to keep this conversation going,” said Lawson.
On Monday, Beverly Young Nelson held a press conference along with attorney Gloria Allred, in which she accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
“He said, ‘I am the district attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this no one will ever believe you’,” said Nelson.
Moore denied the allegations.
“And I can tell you without hesitation, this is absolutely false. I never did what she said I did,” he said. He went on to say the allegations were “all about politics.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) tweeted Monday, “The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness for office. He should immediately withdraw from the race.”
A spokesman for Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) emailed a statement from him in which he said, “If any aspect of the Washington Post story is true, he should do the right thing and withdraw.”