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‘me too.’ Statement on Governor Andrew Cuomo

As of March 1, 2021, three women have come forward with sexual harassment claims against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Two of whom,  Charlotte Bennett and Lindsey Boylan, worked as state employees; the most recent, Anna Ruch, encountered Mr. Cuomo at a wedding reception in September 2019. These allegations brought forth against an elected official with such governing power as state commander-in-chief, are serious civil rights violations that not only threaten public trust but communicate far and wide, that harmful behavior and abuse are permissible when you hold significant power and authority. 

While Cuomo has responded, stating that his past interactions with former aides could “have been misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation” and agreed to an independent investigation, this is only the beginning. What happens next within the investigation is tantamount to what we’ve observed take place in the last 48 hours. But this isn’t just a high profile moment in which the public will now have to contend with fact versus fiction; these are bold and courageous moves by three women, who, significantly younger than Cuomo, are risking their careers and their safety to confront their truth. We cannot ignore that this is often the reality for those of us who come forward.  We insist that those leading the investigation do so with fairness and transparency.  

As a sexual violence survivor-led and centered organization, we applaud Charlotte Bennett, Lindsey Boylan, and Anna Ruch for speaking out and calling for justice. We understand the dangers that lie behind coming forward, especially against those with political weight. We are committed to advocating for an honest process that prioritizes impartiality, systems change, and accountability where it is needed most. 

Tarana Burke, Founder
me too. International

Dani Ayers, Chief Executive Officer
me too. International