National News

Kennewick teens speak out on sexual harassment

Posted October 18, 2017 4:03 p.m. EDT

— Many women opened up the floodgates on social media to call out sexual harassment this week and local young women are facing some of the same issues in Kennewick.

Kamiakin student Sariah Ashbaker has experienced sexual assault at just 15 years old.

"He had tried to molest me and tried to touch me and I ran out of his house all the way home," Ashbaker said.

Like many other women who have come forward in cases like this Ashbaker said, "Nothing has gotten resolved yet and he has not gone to jail."

Asbarker told her parents, reported it to the police, and is now trying to rebuild.

Many others she also knows are trying get past what has happened to them.

"There's always some kind of dude messaging you and trying to ask for nudes," Kamiakin student Elizabeth Villa Senor said.

Villa Senor also saw first hand how social media has been manipulated unfairly in teen relationships.

"Yea there's things going on in school sometimes when a guy gets these pictures from a certain girl and then they start all these rumors and they get bullied after," Villa Senor continued.

Many of her classmates have suffered the consequences of sexual harassment after trusting the wrong person.

Villa Senor has also been impacted by the uncertainty, unable to get close to young men who try to get to know her.

"And this really hurt my way of looking at guys now," Villa Senor added.

Ashbaker understands her pain and many others too.

"There breaking down on the inside because that's how I was," Ashbaker continued.

Asbarker expressed her gratitude towards the celebrities who have chosen to use the hashtag #Metoo on social media to bring awareness to acts of sexual misconduct.

So far Ashbaker said it wasn't something readily discussed at school either.

"They don't really talk about being sexually harassed or things like that it's more about the bullying," Ashbaker added.

Ashbaker and her friends say there's only one way to bring a dark subject to light.

"I'm hoping that by doing this, by talking to you and voicing it out," Ashbaker concluded.

Both girls say social media like Snapchat and Instagram make sexual harassment more prominent.

If you or anyone else is a victim of sexual assault or harassment, you can visit the support hotline available.