Legal experts: Increase in sex assault allegations on the island

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WOODBURY -

With more and more sexual assault and harassment allegations in the entertainment industry and politics, a legal expert says more victims are coming forward on Long Island.

For decades, women have been quietly looking out for one another in the workplace, according to Labor and Employment Attorney Caitlin McNaughton. She says in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the whispers have turned to roars.

Sex abuse allegations are flying against powerful men in government.

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore says the claims against him are lies, while Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has apologized for his past actions. President Donald Trump has not done the same despite allegations of misconduct that arose against him during the presidential campaign.

Allegations of sexual assault and harassment have not just become more common for celebrities. McNaughton says her Lake Success law firm is seeing an increase of calls from people who say have been victimized.

"I've had calls from people who make a ton of money," McNaughton says. "I've had calls from people who make very little. I've had calls from educated women, uneducated women. I've had calls from men who have been harassed by either men or women."

She says the national conversation is having a trickle-down effect in workplaces all across the country. And she has advice for victims and for co-workers who witness abuse.

"It’s like the subway," McNaughton says. "If you see something, say something. If you're in a room and someone does something say, 'hey, that's unprofessional.'"

McNaughton says that it is important to speak up because it tells the person who is engaging in misconduct that people see it, and it is not OK.

It also tells the victim that they are not alone and it confirms that what just took place was unprofessional and inappropriate.

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