NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The scandal involving Harvey Weinstein has magnified the topic of sexual abuse in the workplace, bringing it into the national spotlight and everyday conversation.
CBS2’s Jessica Moore spoke with a woman on a mission: she’s helping abuse victims understand that it’s not their fault.
Decades later, memories of an attempted rape are still fresh for Lisa Lieberman Wang.
“An employer asked me to come down to a hotel room,” she said. “I was a professional ballroom dancer and I was attacked by a man with a towel on him.”
Lieberman Wang turned her heartache into healing, counseling sex abuse victims across the country on how to fight intimidation.
Just this week, news anchor Lauren Sivan broke her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Weinstein in 2007.
“For me to speak out and whether that would have accomplished anything, I don’t think that behavior would have stopped,” she said on CNN.
Audio from a 2015 undercover sting was proof enough for the NYPD that Weinstein committed a crime.
When the victim asked why Weinstein grabbed her breast, the movie mogul replied, “I’m used to that.”
The actress in the audio recording says she fell into a deep depression after her encounter with Weinstein, blaming herself for not doing more to stop his advances.
“I see it all the time with women I work with,” Lieberman Wang said. “They’re brilliant. When something bad happens, they turn inward and beat themselves up instead of the person who did it.”
Lieberman Wang hopes the Weinstein scandal will change the conversation around sexual assault.
“Maybe now people will speak up and realize it’s not just celebrities,” she said. “It’s managers in offices, restaurants, dance studios, regular businesses. This happens all the time. They need to know they have the right to speak up and know its not going to cost them a job because of it. It’s going to save a life because they spoke up.”
The hope is that as more women come forward, fewer men will use their power to abuse.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center says one in three women and one in 10 men have experienced sexual abuse.