sexual assault and harassment | KUOW News and Information

sexual assault and harassment

Washington House leaders are recommending that state Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, lose his chairmanship, but are not demanding he resign from the Legislature, following the findings of an external investigation into his conduct that could also result in an ethics probe.

Ericka Frodsham 2018
Mike Kane for KUOW

In 2015, photographer Mike Kane met Ericka, a sex worker on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. Ericka was selling sex to support her heroin and meth addiction, and she was so weak she believed she could be dead within a year. She was estranged from her three young daughters and spent many nights on the street. 


Seattle Silence Breakers unveiled postcards and banners Thursday, May 31 2018, that read 'Mayor Durkan, Stop All harassment & Discrimination now!'
Kathleen Merrigan/Seattle Silence Breakers

Spurred on by a group of anti-harassment activists, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says she will consider hiring an ombudsperson to handle discrimination and sexual harassment complaints by city staff.


Hundreds of survivors of domestic violence have come through the doors of neurologist Glynnis Zieman's Phoenix clinic in the past three years.

"The domestic violence patients are the next chapter of brain injury," she says.

Zieman begins every new patient visit with a simple question: "What are the symptoms you hope I can help you with?"

Carmen Best, interim police chief of Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke reviews the news of the weekend, including the controversy over the three finalists chosen for Seattle's next police chief. Interim Police Chief Carmen Best is not among them.

The Swedish parliament has passed a bill that the government said, "states the obvious: if sex is not voluntary it is illegal."

The new legislation rules that sex without explicit mutual consent is rape. Previously, the law stated rape was committed only in instances where a victim was violently coerced or threatened into a sexual act.

Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET

Harvey Weinstein surrendered Friday to authorities at a police station in New York City, where the former Hollywood megaproducer has been charged with rape and sexual misconduct.

Weinstein arrived early in the morning at the New York Police Department's 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan, ushered into the station by law enforcement officers as members of the media crowded behind metal barriers. He kept his gaze lowered amid a barrage of shouted questions.

Charlene Lieu
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the world of climbing, a climber without a partner is like a jockey without a horse.

Which is why, for women climbers, talking about sexual harassment can be dicey.


Commuters ride the E Line bus southbound on Aurora Avenue North, around 5:30 a.m., on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It was standing room only on the E Line RapidRide bus when the man seated next to Sonnet Stockmar started talking to her. "Take your top off," he said in front of the other bus riders.


Uber riders who experience sexual harassment or assault will now be able to take their claims to court, instead of being forced into private arbitration, the ride-hailing app announced Tuesday.

Uber, like many companies, has a clause in its user agreement — and its employment contract — that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. Instead, disputes are taken before a private third-party arbitrator, who is paid by the company.

Two embattled Washington state representatives have filed to run for re-election—despite ongoing investigations into their conduct.

Democrat David Sawyer of Tacoma and Republican Matt Manweller of Ellensburg both registered their candidacies with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, the first day of filing week.

At least 11 Nike executives have left the company this year over complaints of an uncomfortable workplace that discriminates against women.

The first to go was Nike's president, Trevor Edwards. The announcement came in mid-March that the company's No. 2 is retiring in August after more than 25 years. Edwards had been considered a favorite to succeed CEO Mark Parker.

The next day, it was announced that Jayme Martin, a vice president and general manager of global categories for Nike, was no longer with the company.

The Swedish Academy, responsible for handing out the annual Nobel Prize in literature, says it will not present the award this year as it struggles to contain the damage from a sex abuse scandal.

Finally, we no longer have to use the word "allegedly."

A court of law has delivered a verdict that the court of public opinion seemed to have already reached: Bill Cosby, 80, has been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, resulting from allegations first made by Andrea Constand back in 2005.

The public eventually saw more than 60 women accuse "America's dad" of sexual misconduct and assault, with many alleging he surreptitiously drugged them first. This is the first of those stories to get a verdict.

Updated 3:55 p.m. ET

A woman who worked as an NBC correspondent says longtime network anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted advances, including groping her and trying forcibly to kiss her, some two decades ago. Brokaw denied the claims in a email to his colleagues on Friday.

Linda Vester, who covered the Middle East and Africa for NBC and later joined Fox News, was in her 20s at the time she alleges Brokaw made the advances, Variety magazine reports.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault.

A Pennsylvania jury has found Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, setting up the comic legend for the possibility of years of imprisonment for drugging and sexually violating a woman 14 years ago on a couch in his Cheltenham, Pa., home.

An image from King County Metro Transit's anti-sexual harassment campaign, 'Report It to Stop It.'
Courtesy King County Metro Transit

Ridership is up on King Country Metro. Night bus services are up. And so are reports of sexual misconduct.

KUOW/Isolde Raftery

Benton Strong, the spokesman who stood by embattled Mayor Ed Murray to the end, has been revealed to have a checkered past of his own.

Democrat donkey
Flickr Photo/Georgia Democrats (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/a77qRq

King County Democrats say they’ve been torn this year between resolving a workplace scandal in their own ranks, and supporting candidates in this much-anticipated election year. Now they say they’re ready to move forward.

Bailey Stober, former chair of the King County Democrats.
Facebook Photo/Bailey Stober

The chair of King County's Democratic party has resigned in the wake of a harassment investigation.

Volunteers filed a complaint against Bailey Stober earlier this year, accusing him of harassing a staff member, using sexist language and mismanaging party funds.


Author Lindy West lives in Seattle.
Photo by Jenny Jimenez / http://photojj.com

Following the #MeToo movement, men say they're having a difficult time interacting with women in the workplace. That's according to a new Pew Research Center survey. New York Times columnist Lindy West calls B.S. on that — and has some tips for men at work. 

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has been outspoken about ending sexual harassment, especially within the confines of Congress, and yet she conceded on Thursday that she failed to protect her own staff and provide a "safe and respectful work environment."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed into law several measures aimed at addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. They include a prohibition on non-disclosure agreements that silence victims of harassment or assault.

Women's March at Cal Anderson Park on Saturday, January 20, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Soon after the #MeToo scandals broke loose last fall, calls started pouring in to King County’s Sexual Assault Resource Center.

“More people are finding courage,” said Mary Ellen Stone, the center’s executive director. “The need is considerable.”

Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner Dale ​Peinecke is resigning following a workplace investigation into allegations he behaved inappropriately toward women on his staff.

File: Sherman Alexie reads from his book, 'Thunder Boy Jr.,' at the RED INK Indigenous Initiative for All at Arizona State University, Tempe, April 22, 2016.
Flickr Photo/ASU Department of English (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/JmRvrM

Do you scoff when people say they support their local bookstores, but get their books on Amazon? Is supporting Woody Allen or R. Kelly any different? Katie Anthony says it can’t be. 

From left: Tracy Rector and Sara Marie Ortiz
Courtesy Tracy Rector and Sara Marie Ortiz

Can you predict the social media cycle of #metoo? First, the allegations. Then the apology, lackluster or seemingly heartfelt. Then the backlash: shows canceled, jobs lost, formerly prominent men stricken from the public domain. It's happened in film, in television, in comedy. And now it's happening to author Sherman Alexie.

The FBI is recognizing Coeur D’Alene tribal member Bernie LaSarte for her efforts to combat domestic violence in the Idaho Panhandle.



Several efforts to protect sexual assault victims failed to pass in Washington’s 60-day legislative session which adjourned last Thursday. Now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing frustration.

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