By JENNIFER PELTZ
NEW YORK (AP) - Some sexual-assault victims who went public with their stories well before the #MeToo movement are heartened by its message of speaking out publicly. But they caution that not everyone should feel compelled to do so.
In the name of #MeToo, countless people have told of being sexually assaulted or harassed. Some are actresses or pop stars. Others are private citizens.
People who came forward earlier say it feels difficult and risky but can end up being healing and liberating.
Leesa Perazzo says it was "terrifying and amazingly empowering" to disclose that she had been raped at 16. She worried about being doubted or having the crime inseparably attached to her public identity as a city councilwoman in Schenectady, New York.
Instead, she says, other women thanked her and confided their own experiences.