Victims advocate wants better preparation for misconduct allegations

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Sidney Hardgrave.jpg

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill wants his name back. The court of public opinion has ruled, and according to Hill it’s not in his favor.

Facing sexual misconduct allegations, Hill slammed his accusers Monday at a news conference while refusing to leave office.

In speech that lasted almost 7 minutes, Hill demanded the pursuit of justice before a rush to judgment. “We are living in a time where accusations alone have the power of conviction,” Hill says.

Hill allegedly touched statehouse workers at a party in Indianapolis.

“I stand before you a condemned man,” Hill says. “Condemned without trial, condemned without notice, condemned without the benefit of any basic rights that ensure fairness.”

Holly’s House Executive Director, Sidney Hardgrave, says it’s a scene all-too-familiar. “For me it’s mostly disappointment,” Hardgrave says, “just like, here’s another one.”

As an abuse victim advocate, Hardgrave believes better rules and preparation from leadership could have prevented public outcry.

“They make the headlines when it involved a person in an important position, but I’m not sure it’s any more common at that level,” Hardgrave says.

She hopes it’s a lesson for companies, agencies, and government bodies to have a way to hear complaints from workers, and handle investigations internally while protecting the alleged victim and accused without silencing the “me too” movement.

“We can’t go back in the shadows,” says Hardgrave.

Perception and the rule of law become blurred when allegations go public and as the state’s highest law enforcer, Hill wants a chance to wipe away doubt.

Hill said again he will not resign from office. “A week ago today I had a name, I want my name back.”

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(This story was originally published July 9, 2018)

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