Mayor Pro Tem addresses sexual assault

From a Supreme Court nominee to a once beloved star, sexual misconduct cases are dominating current headlines.

A longtime Houston advocate for sexual assault victims is recalling her own traumatic memory. She says it serves to remind all of us of something she says is key in the "Me Too" era.

"No I don't remember whether I was 9 or 10. I don't remember the exact date. I don't remember what I was wearing. But I do remember him," Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen reads. "Somethings you do forget but others remain with you for the rest of your life."

It's been almost seven decades since it happened. But in a short, pointed letter published in the Houston Chronicle, Houston councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen is for the first time addressing her own sexual assault by a stranger.

“I never told my family, and my daughter-in-law actually text me back something and said, 'do you think this is the reason that you took the direction you did in your life?' Maybe it was."

She's referring to her 18 years spent as CEO of the Houston Area Women's Center – one of many local resources with confidential counseling available for survivors of sexual abuse or domestic violence.

So, why now? Why bring this up so long after it happened? The councilwoman says she wanted to make a point for those questioning accusers in the "Me Too" age.

"Sorta criticizing people who can't remember everything, but the fact of the matter is, most people in crisis don't remember everything," Cohen says.

The Houston Area Women's Center is a free service with hotlines open 24 hours a day. If you need somewhere to go, someone to talk to, or if you just have questions about something that happened to you, consider contacting them or one of the many similar shelters and centers in our area.