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Mid-Missourians weigh in on recent trend in sexual misconduct reporting

Most college students associated the news of sexual harassment with celebrities while most senior citizens connected the topic with politicians. (Mark Slavit/KRCG 13)

Sexual misconduct was a hot topic in the news involving politicians, celebrities and members of the national media.

Two different generations had different reactions to these recent events.

On the day Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation, some Mizzou students said sexual misconduct was ruining their perception of some celebrities.

“It just kind of gives you a different perspective on all of the celebrities that you thought highly of and had very reputable jobs and good reputations," Nathan Bartley said. "It just kind of changes your view on them.”

Another student expressed that these high profile cases cause more confusion.

“I’m kind of appalled by all the stuff that’s coming out," Courtney Logal said. "I’m also not sure of what to believe and who to believe. It’s all kind of ambiguous right now.”

The allegations prompted the social media campaign #MeToo, encouraging victims of sexual assault to raise awareness. The campaign helped normalize the conversation as allegations continue to mount against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The response has been well-received by students.

“I really appreciate the whole #MeToo Campaign," Avery Esquivel said. "I have friends coming together for it and really understanding that we’re supposed to be advocating for this and not hiding it.”

College students associated the news of sexual harassment with celebrities, yet senior citizens connected the topic with politicians.

Older adults at the Columbia Senior Activity Center took shots at politicians accused of sexual misconduct.

“It’s awful that men, especially men in power, choose to take advantage of women and abuse them,” Russell Bell said.

Other guests at the activity center recognized the complexity of the issue.

“It’s complicated and it’s overdue," Bill Hastings said. "At the same time, I think people still need a trial. They can’t be accused and found guilty in the media.”

Both sides recognized that these issues are not new, and that action has been long overdue.

“This has been going on since the beginning of time," Lucille Schriewer said. "If they are going to do something, they should do it right away and not wait 40 years to file a claim.”

Sen. Franken said his resignation becomes final in the coming weeks.

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