A local social profit feels the Bill Cosby sentencing is a step in the right direction toward preventing and ending sexual violence.
On Tuesday, the 81-year-old comedian was sentenced to 3-10 years in state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand.
Waypoints’ Sexual Assault Program Manager Alicia Teasdale tells Mix News it’s a massive breakthrough for victims of sexual violence and assault.
“The sentencing today of Bill Cosby reminds us that survivors are gaining momentum in their requests to be heard and to be believed,” Teasdale said. “When an individual experiences an act of sexual violence, it can be tremendously difficult to tell anyone for fear of social ramifications, shame and not being believed; when the accused is an individual with power or celebrity status, it becomes even more difficult and these concerns are magnified.”
Teasdale adds it’s not only a win for survivors, but the verdict shows a societal shift in attitudes toward sexual violence, as a whole.
She says moving forward, they hope this sets a precedent that perpetrators will be held accountable and that power, prestige and privilege will no longer protect those accused.
“We can already see a shift in attitudes and responses in our community and we see an increase in people accessing services. Let’s continue to create a community where we listen, we support, and we believe.”
People looking to access services related to sexual assault and violence can contact Waypoints Sexual Assault Program, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 780-791-6708.