(KMSP) - Senator Al Franken is just one of several high-profile men to be accused of sexual misconduct the past few months. The women who came forward to expose their alleged misbehavior are now being celebrated by none other than Time magazine as its "Person of the Year".
Time says this year's honor goes to the Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement. The magazine's cover features famous faces, like Ashley Judd who helped open the floodgates against Harvey Weinstein, as well as the arm of an anonymous woman, which represents all the women who have not been able to come forward yet.
"It is absolutely breathtaking to see a group that has been silenced for so long finally get that voice and not be afraid," said Sarah Colford of the group Break The Silence.
Colford broke her silence after she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker at a local radio station 15 years ago, only to lose her job when she told station management about it. Now she encourages other survivors of sexual violence and abuse to speak up too through the local group Break the Silence.
"You fear what people are going to say," said Colford. "How they are going to react when you say you are a victim of sexual violence. You fear that judgment, but its amazing where we are at."
Colford says Time's recognition of the #MeToo movement is a watershed moment that represents a sea change in public perception and she hopes it empowers others to share their stories as well and realize they are not alone.
"I think we are going to see big changes coming and see more survivors standing up for each other, believe in each other. I just see big things coming in our future," said Colford.
Time's editor-in-chief says the Silence Breakers are the "Person of the Year" for giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, and for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable.