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How the #MeToo movement is changing the way mothers and daughters talk about sexual assault

Over the past year, a growing conversation about sexual harassment has erupted.

To explore how this conversation has changed, generation to generation, we asked mothers and daughters about how they were raised to talk, react and take action when it comes to sexual harassment and assault.

Liz and Terrie

Liz Cotone’s daughter is only 6, but she is already learning about consent. Liz, 42, and her mother, Terrie Rosengren, 70, talk about how to teach children to ask permission, laying the groundwork for understanding autonomy over one’s body.

It’s not about sex. It’s using the differences in our gender for power.”

Liz


Ahleea and Denise

Denise Zama, 57, was sexually harassed at a very young age, and she never told her parents what happened to her. But when her daughter, Ahleea Zama, 31, was sexually assaulted in high school, the two processed their experiences together.

You want to know what could you have done differently…. You try to protect your children the best you can. But at the same time you have to be free to grow.”

Denise


Samantha and Ellen

When Samantha Gordon, 21, first talked to her mother about being sexually assaulted, Ellen Gordon, 53, asked her if she had been drinking. Years later, they discuss that conversation, and Ellen explains how she adjusts her behavior to appear less “bossy” as a woman in a professional setting.

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