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#METOO sparks conversations and change in the Treasure Valley

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence... you have a resource to ask questions and become empowered on your decisions.

The executive director at the Women's and Children's Alliance says they are noticing more people in our community, feeling empowered to tell their sexual assault story, using the hashtag #MeToo.

Local experts say the push to talk about these experiences is not necessarily because more of it is happening but because people feel better about stepping forward.

"It's not going to go away in the blink of an eye and it's not going to disappear."

It's hard to turn on the TV or browse news articles on the web without seeing another allegation of sexual assault involving high profile men like Louis C.K. or Harvey Weinstein but the heinous stories are having a positive side effect even here at home.

Beatrice Black with the Women's and Children's Alliance says the social media movement is energizing and validating. She says seeing the number of people who are comfortable telling their story through social media is empowering.

"I think people have been silent for a very long time because they haven't known what kind of reception they will get, and so there is a certain safety in numbers, so I think the more that people express whats happened to them, the more comfortable people are speaking out."

The Women's and Children's Alliance has a 24 hour hotline that's completely anonymous.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence you have a resource to ask questions and become empowered on your decisions.

"We can create in our community one of the safest places," Black says, "Where individuals feel completely safe, be that in their workplace or their community being in their neighborhoods where they feel like this issue is being talked about and addressed."

For additional resources or if you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence, click HERE.

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