By| Daria Laycock
The #MeToo movement is coming to Tallahassee thanks to The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
The commission has decided to move forward with its local response to the rash of sexual misconduct cases that have been making the news, according to Commission Chair Megan Doherty.
A study by The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that 75 percent of women have been sexually harassed in the workplace. The #MeToo movement came from the frustrations of women dissatisfied with how sexual harassment claims were handled.
The movement came close to home when several women accused Florida State Senator Jack Latvala of groping them and making inappropriate comments. Though the Clearwater republican has denied these claims he was removed from his post as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Politico reported.
Officer Vincent Crump was also recently terminated for allegedly sexual assaulting a motorist, Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo reported in a press conference held after the firing.
The group will work with members of the Violence and Safety Committee to encourage local government to publicly acknowledge that there is a problem with harassment in the workplace. The commission will also work to have officials adhere to policies related to workplace harassment.
The commission also plans to adopt the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2018 theme, “Embrace your Voice.”
Thus far The Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls’ iteration of the #MeToo movement is scheduled to be a one day event involving a march on the capitol, a rally on the capitol steps, a barrage of speakers, a series of round table discussions and a light lunch.
Patricia McCray community activist, women’s advocate and partner of the commission, is aiding the group is organizing the event.
“Things like this have been happening for so long and women are just getting to the place where they feel heard… it’s a powerful,” she said. “Were telling women that Tallahassee is a safe place. Were holding ourselves to a standard.”
The committee is attempting to build partnerships with The Oasis Center for Women and Girls, The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, city and county Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Refuge House, as well as local universities.
Organizers are planning the event for the late April or early May so that it falls in line with national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. SAAM is hosted in April of each year.