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Girls & Women

A Woman Who Says She Was Sexually Harassed by Trump Is Running for Office

“I felt there was nothing I could do.” 

Those were the words spoken by Rachel Crooks at a 2017 press conference, referring to her experience of having been sexually harassed. But in Crooks’ case the reported harasser was not just any employer. He was, in fact, the man who would later become President of the United States. 

On Monday, Crooks announced her plan to run for office in the state of Ohio, potentially setting her up to join President Trump in the government in 2018. 

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Crooks is a political neophyte who previously worked as the director of international student recruitment at Heidelberg University in Ohio. She will run as a Democratic candidate in Ohio’s 88th district — a rural district that voted for Trump in 2016, but Obama in 2012 and 2008 — on a platform of job creation, increasing access to health care, and education reform, Cosmopolitan reports

“I think my voice should have been heard then,” Crooks told Cosmopolitan, referring to an incident in 2005 when Trump tried to kiss her without consent, “and I'll still fight for it to be heard now. Americans are really upset with politics as usual, and I want to be a voice for them.”

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Crooks now joins a growing list of women who are running for office in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and the #MeToo movement that has seen women across many professions speak up about their experiences of sexual assault and call for justice for victims. 

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According to the Center for American Women and Politics, more than 400 women have filed or plan to file for House or Senate seats in 2018, and the advocacy organization Emily’s List reports that more than 26,000 women expressed interest in running for office since the election of Donald Trump. 

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and goal number five calls for gender equality. Increasing women’s representation in politics, including in the United States, where fewer than one in five congressional seats are filled by women, is a major part of achieving this goal and ultimately eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. You can join us and take action on this issue here

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For Crooks, running for office wasn’t an easy decision, but she was encouraged to run by peers and mentors, she said in her exclusive interview with Cosmopolitan. 

“I think like a lot of women, because we've been historically underrepresented in politics, I didn't necessarily see myself in this role,” she said. 

“Women are uniting,” she added. “The momentum is now. I want to be part of it.”