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CHARLESTON -- Personal accounts of sexual harassment and assault in the area will be voiced in a presentation inspired by the #MeToo movement Friday.

Several local people, many of them women, will be sharing their stories and the stories of others in the community in a theatrical-like telling of these moments at 7 p.m. Friday at Bob's Bookstore.

Presenters will be expressing these experiences that local people have endured through numerous short and long-form narratives, some of which will be interactive.

Organizer Elizabeth Halbe said the stories will touch on a spectrum of harassment including catcalling and other forms of harassment and assault.

Halbe and Kathryn Stewart organized the presentation after an explosion of responses and comments were made on a local #MeToo Charleston Facebook group the two created.

Halbe said the group was created two months ago in response to the outcry that spawned from the #MeToo movement.

Halbe said the group grew exponentially shortly after its creation. On the page, people, if they were comfortable, were invited to share their stories and accounts. Halbe said it almost became a support group in some ways.

Halbe said organizers believed these stories should be brought to a more public place as a source of awareness those who are unaffected by it and a source of support for those who are.

There will be an open discussion period following the presentation. The event is free and open to the public.

People who attend can make donations if they wish to help cover expenses for the event. Any further proceeds will go to Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services and HOPE of East Central IL.


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