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Women in Hawaii take a stand against sexual assault and harassment at a discussion panel

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HONOLULU -

Women in Hawaii are taking a stand against sexual assault and harassment by sharing experiences, prevention and how to avoid being a target at the YWCA Laniakea in Downtown Honolulu Monday night.

Panelists tell Island News, they've each experienced or witnessed it - emphasizing how sexual harassment isn’t just a Washington DC or Hollywood problem.
Me Too is here in Hawaii, too.

#MeToo started in October 2017 after allegations surfaced against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. 

The hashtag spread quickly on social media to raise awareness of the widespread issue of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. 

A panel of speakers all representing local organizations discussed ways to educate the public on what constitutes sexual harassment or what to do if you experience or witness harassment.

Island news caught up with a few of the speakers before tonight’s discussion began, who say it's time for Hawaii to speak up, too.

"It’s really hard to talk about it. It’s scary, I think it’s time for us to really talk about what’s inside and what’s happened whether it was yesterday or 27 years ago," Gemma Weinstein, Local 5 said. 

There have been women's marches in Hawaii, namely after President Donald Trump was sworn into office but nothing MeToo specific.

There is an opportunity for attendees to share their stories as well.

All the panelists Island News spoke with say the first step is talking to someone. Whether it’s a friend, a family member or a colleague you trust.

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