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Ambra Gutierrez On Sexual Harassment: 'It is never your fault'

'It is not about how you dressed up or how you acted.'
PHOTO: Instagram/ambrabgutierrez

It was The New York Times that unearthed decades’ worth of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Ashley Judd shared, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”

On October 10, 2017, The New Yorker released a recording of Harvey harassing Italian-Pinay model Ambra Gutierrez into entering his hotel room; the audio proof was obtained after Ambra agreed to wear a wire to meet Harvey the day after he assaulted her in 2015.

Since The New York Times published their exposé, more than 40 women have come forward with their own stories against Harvey.

Through an email interview, Cosmo.ph got in touch with Ambra to talk about how we can keep supporting women who’ve been harassed, assaulted, and abused.  

What’s been the most powerful response you’ve gotten since you came forward?

"I’m happy to see women getting the strength to speak about their experiences." 

What can family members and friends do to support sexual assault victims?

"They need to listen, just listen to the person; do not judge; do not ask questions. Listening to the victims will give them time to analyze the situation. [It might even give them the] courage to speak to authorities without ever [thinking] it was their fault. Always support the victim’s decisions."

How can survivors use social media to spread awareness?

"If the person in consideration [feels ready and supported enough to talk about their experience], they should do it. Having people around [who understand] how a person is “healing” [helps] so much. [It] might [inspire] others to do [the] same." 

What do you think needs to happen for significant changes to occur in terms of how people react to victims of sexual assault? 

"Everyone shouldn’t [feel the need to] hide it. [Those who bravely share their experiences should be given the chance to speak up without judgment]. Never attack a person coming forward—give them your ears and listen. Also, keep yourself aware of the person denounced." 

What would be your advice to Pinays who have encountered something similar to what you experienced?

"You are not the only one. It is never your fault. It is not about how you dressed up or how you acted."

"Sadly, things like this can happen [anytime]—[at the] supermarket, [in the] library, [or while] walking [down] the street while going back home from school. If you feel ashamed, always think that not speaking [up] might [give an opportunity] for people like that to do bad things to people you love. Get the strength to help others. I always say, 'If it happened to you, it's because you can handle it, so help others with your experience.'" 

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