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#MeToo Movement

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In October 2017, a two-word hashtag began to virally spread throughout social media, but was actually founded in 2006. The #MeToo is used to display the widespread issue of sexual assault and harassment. This was created by a woman named Tarana Burke to help survivors and victims realize that they are not alone. Mid October, actress Alyssa Milano went to Twitter to encourage others to spread the hashtag as part of an awareness campaign. She tweeted, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” By the end of that day, more than 200,000 people used the hashtag and was tweeted more than 500,000 times the next day.

The purpose of #MeToo is to empower women through compassion and sympathy for their experiences. The hashtag is used to demonstrate victims of sexual assault are not alone and should not be ashamed of what they went through. Burke and Milano hoped to help the society understand the whole severity of the problem that occurs each day around the world. The campaign’s motto is “empowerment through empathy.”

Sexual assault is said to affect 1/3 of all women around the world. A poll by ABC News shows that 54% of women report “unwanted and inappropriate” sexual advances and 95% of which say the behavior goes unpunished. #MeToo serves as an advocate for changes to laws and policies, but to also allow victims to heal. Burke’s goal is to process untested rape kits, re-examine local school policies, and also update sexual harassment policies.

The #MeToo was created to show the widespread of sexual assault mostly in the workplace, but has since grown outside of that. Reports have been proven to occur in the workplace, church, financial and music industry, government, military, schools, and most recently spoken about is gymnastics. According to the NSOPW, only 30% of these cases are reported to authorities. According to a survey, 346,830 reports of sexual assault were people 12 years and older. Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault.

Just recently, the spin-off, #MeTooK12, was created by Joel Levin and Esther Warkov in hope to stop sexual abuse in education. A survey from 2011 displays that 40% of boys and 56% of girls in grades 7-12 have experience of form of sexual harassment. This hashtag is meant to demonstrate the misconduct towards children. Another hashtag, #TimesUp, was created to help fight sexual harassment in the workplace and helps a fund for victims to receive legal aid for those who cannot afford it.

The point is, sexual assault and harassment is a major issue not only in the United Sates, but around the entire world. The #MeToo has helped create a sense of light for survivors to speak up, but there are so many others around the world who still fight each day in silence. It is time for women and victims of sexual abuse to be able to heal. Therefore, please be aware and be informed. If something does not feel right, it is probably not. These survivors are not alone. And remember, see something, say something.

 

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#MeToo Movement