Report highlights bungled aftermath of sexual abuse claims at teen rehab center

Leadership at Unity Healing Center in Cherokee failed to properly investigate or report allegations that an employee of the federally run rehab center for Native American teens had sexually abused one of its residents in fall 2016, a newly disclosed report  concludes.

Sexual assault cases present complex challenges

A recent analysis of sexual assault prosecutions in North Carolina conducted by Carolina Public Press showed a shockingly low number of convictions in the western counties, but District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch says these types of cases shouldn’t be reduced down to a number. 

Me Too Movement founder speaks about sexual violence

In 24 short hours, more than 12 million people posted a personal message on social media using the #MeToo hashtag. It was one of the most powerful moments in history in the fight to end sexual violence, but the movement’s founder Tarana Burke said the moment will pass by without any real change unless supporters stay focused on the real message.

#MeToo: Shedding the stigma around sexual assault

Five years ago, Haywood County resident Janelle Smith was working late when a much older male colleague she’d thought of as a friend and mentor cornered her and attempted to sexually assault her. Although she fought him off, the incident left her feeling physically violated, emotionally upset and, she said, ashamed. 

Former Waynesville priest indicted by grand jury

Howard “Howdy” White Jr., a former episcopal priest who served in Waynesville until 2006, was indicted last week by a Haywood County Grand Jury on sexual abuse charges.

Sexual violence and the workplace

By Buffy Queen • Guest Columnist

“Sexual violence is a societal issue that requires systemic change. Sexual violence does not occur in a vacuum. It is influenced by our larger social systems, including the workplace.”

(National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Sexual Violence & The Workplace, 2013)

It started with a word. “Sweet!” he exclaimed.

Men can no longer just look the other way

The list of allegations is dizzying and depressing. Every day, it seems, there are new reports of predatory behavior by someone famous, maybe someone you have admired. For me, it was Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., both accused of horrendous acts of sexual harassment and/or assault. Both of these men — once beloved and held in the highest regard among lovers of film and television — have confessed and are now suddenly pariahs, having been fired from their various projects and awaiting whatever legal repercussions may obtain.

Feds allege bail bondsman accepted sex in lieu of loan repayments

Cherokee’s only bail bondsman is facing federal charges for allegedly having sex with female clients in lieu of loan repayment, and for allegedly sexually abusing a teenager younger than 16.

Western Carolina responds to increased regulations regarding sexual assault

fr wcuBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

With evolving regulations and a complicated system of reporting, there is no end in sight for the work university officials are doing to put a stop to sexual violence on campus.

Domestic violence and sexual abuse shelter looks to expand in Macon

Fundraising for a $1.3-million shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse is underway in Macon County, with REACH of Macon County hoping to move to a new building by September 2015. 

“This has been a dream from the beginning,” said Jennifer Turner-Lynn, prevention coordinator and incoming assistant director for REACH. “We’ve always wanted to build the shelter here, and we feel the time is right.”

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