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Local shelter hears more sexual harassment and assault cases

Quanada in Quincy hears more sexual harassment and assault cases

From Hollywood to the highest levels of government to television news, sexual harassment in the workplace is at the forefront across the country.

CBS News has suspended veteran journalist Charlie Rose immediately following a new report in The Washington Post.

It details eight women who now say Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them.

Megan Duesterhaus serves as executive director of Quanada in Quincy.

She said Quanada hasn't seen an increase in clients seeking services for sexual assault or sexual harassment. However, Duesterhaus said she is hearing more stories from both women and men.

"What we have seen is acquaintances and friends reaching out on an individual level to members of my staff wanting to disclose that, 'hey, this happened to me in my first job,'" Duesterhaus explained. "Or I was sexually assaulted and never talked about it."

Republican Senator from Missouri Roy Blunt appeared on national talk shows Sunday morning.

He's part of a group of U.S. senators proposing new orientation to address sexual harassment and appropriate behavior in Washington.

"We need to be sure that we've got an environment where people want to come and be part of that, where women are comfortable being part of that, Sen. Blunt said. "My chief of staff is a woman, my legislative director is a woman, my press person is a woman. Wouldn't want to have an environment where you couldn't have the best people come."

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Her comments came after Senate Republicans completed an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

Duesterhaus said policy and human resource departments can put a stop to sexual harassment.

However, organizations such as Quanada can help people deal with the emotional aftermath.

"Sexual harassment is defined on that continuum of sexual violence," Duesterhaus said. "That is something we specialize in. Our counselors are specially trained to deal with those issues."

Duesterhaus encourages women and men who need help to call Quanada.

Its services are confidential and free of charge.

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