For decades, women have treated sexual harassment as something that should be kept private. It’s an experience that they prefer not to acknowledge because of the trauma, pain, and stigma that surrounds it. Victims are often afraid to come forward because they are embarrassed or forced into silence. Even worse, most are blamed for it.
This week, however, people have been sharing their personal stories of sexual assault through social media following The New York Times’ exposé alleging sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Female celebrities like Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, and more have voiced their disgust and shared their personal stories of assault with the disgraced producer and other powerful men in Hollywood.
The movement was fueled further by actress Alyssa Milano who tweeted on Sunday night:
The response to her tweet has been both overwhelming and troubling. Over the week, men and women from all around the world have been using the hashtag #MeToo on Facebook and Twitter. They are sharing their accounts as victims of abuse. If you have a similar experience and are still too scared to share it, here are some reasons why you should join the #MeToo campaign:
1. It is not your fault.
It’s not something to be ashamed about. You are the victim here. Keeping silent about this matter only gives the guilty party more power, because they know that they can get away with it. Be brave and speak out whenever you are ready.
2. You are not alone.
It’s troubling, but sexual harassment and assault is everywhere – in school, the workplace, even at home. With political leaders, influencers, and celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Monica Lewinsky, and Rosario Dawson joining the campaign, it’s safe to say that there are people who are more than willing to help and understand.
3. You can help spread awareness.
The campaign isn’t a call to action with a series of protests and speeches. It’s simply an attempt to get people to understand the problem of sexual harassment and assault in society. Sharing your story could make people realize that something should be done about this issue. And once they're fully aware, they will hopefully find a solution.
How can you support the #MeToo campaign? Share your thoughts by commenting here or tag us on Facebook and Instagram @iamclaireph.