Not all fun and games: Comic-Con sexual harassment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Not all fun and games: Comic-Con sexual harassment

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Most of the thousands of people who attend Comic-Con leave San Diego with great memories, but the experience isn't positive for everyone. There have been reports of harassment and assault -- especially of women in costumes.

Among the crush of crowds at Comic-Con, you'll find a real superhero in Rochelle Keyhan. She's with Geeks for Consent, a group created to curb harassment against people in costumes.

"It's a pretty big problem in that we've heard about it at every possible convention we've ever been to," she said.

And it's not just inapropriate comments or groping. Online, there are videos specifically dedicated to certain female body parts, even up-skirting shots at Comic-Con. Rochelle admits, some of the costumes do make women an easy target.

"If you want to be true to the character you're representing, most of the options are pretty scantily-clad, I guess you could say," Rochelle said.

She adds, women don't have many options when it comes to looking the part in the comic world. That said, it isn't an invitation for harassment.

"I don't know if it's asking for photos of our body parts to be published online, but if someone says can I take a photo of you, or your costume is amazing, or your costume is excellent, that's what the invitation is for," she said.

To help spread their message, they've brought their comic, to Comic-Con. Erin Filson penned the book that deals with sexual harassment.

"It was amazing, I've loved comics my whole life and it was really great to work on something that would help people and explain an issue that sometimes people misunderstand," Erin said.

They hope their message isn't just heard, but repeated.

"When you see it happening, all it takes is someone saying 'Yo, what are you doing?' or interrupting the situation for the person to literally be called out and stop the behavior," Rochelle said.

As for this year's Comic-Con, it seems people were on their best behavior for the most part.

"Most people are really polite, they stop and ask you if they can take a picture. They take a picture, say thank you and go on," attendee Jamie Bell said.

In a statement, Comic-Con representatives said they have an explicit code of conduct that is emailed to each registered attendee, and add that harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated.

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