Caitlin Powalski of Crisis Services, a 24-hour mental and behavioral health agency in Buffalo with a sexual and domestic violence unit, serves clients every day across Erie County.
She says the national "Me Too" movement can be extremely empowering.
"We have to recognize that it can be emotionally overwhelming for individuals who've experienced sexual and domestic violence. And not everyone may be ready to share their story, even though the Me Too movement is picking up,” said Powalski.
That, after not one, but two members of President Trump's team recently stepped down amid reports of domestic violence allegations.
The latest being former staff secretary Rob Porter.
"We certainly wish him well. It's obviously tough time for him. We hope he has a wonderful career. Hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him. He says he's innocent and I think you have to remember that,” said Trump.
President Trump then tweeted:
Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone says litigating domestic violence cases has increasingly become a challenge given the number of victim advocate groups involved, as well as the potential impact on family court and jury selection.
He says while victims need to come forward, the case could have a domino effect, as the accused could lose their job, custody of their kids and their freedom before the matter goes to trial.
"I think that it is important that victims are protected in every way possible but at the same time, those protections have to be balanced with an individual’s constitutional rights. And certainly it's not an easy balance,” said Barone.
"It's a complicated situation. None of us that work in the field want someone who didn't do something held accountable for something they didn't do. The goal is that we want people who committed these crimes to be held accountable for them and we want people who have experienced these crimes to be believed,” said Powalski.
Those wanting to share their story can call the Crisis Services 24/7 hotline at 716-834-3131.