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#MeToo Movement: Sexual Assault in Hollywood and All Over the World

Brianna Noto, Staff Writer

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 The #MeToo Movement, which allows sexual assault victims to share their experiences, was started by Tarana Burke, when a 13-year-old girl who had been sexually abused told Burke her story.  She felt helpless, like there was no way she could help the girl in that moment. “I didn’t have a response or a way to help her in that moment, and I couldn’t even say ‘me too,’ ” Burke said. Ten years later, Burke created Just Be Inc., which was a non profit organization that helped victims of sexual assault. Shortly after, she gave her movement a name: Me Too.

Tarana Burke

Recently, actress Alyssa Milano posted a picture on her Twitter account that promotes the movement. The picture reads, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed, or assaulted wrote ‘Me Too’ as their status, we might give people a sense of magnitude of the problem.” Shortly after, thousands of comments flooded Milano’s post and social media in general, describing their sexual assault stories. Me Too is not only a way for us to see how many females were affected, but it’s also a way for victims to talk to each other and share their stories.

 

This movement is extremely important, especially because of recent events. There have been a great deal of Hollywood actors and directors who have been said to be assaulting or harassing fellow actresses, actors, and crew members. Just a few of those people are: Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, and Kevin Spacey. This atrocity doesn’t just happen in Hollywood; it happens in our own communities as well. 17,700,000 women have reported sexual assault since 1998, but we only see the celebrities that have been convicted or have been victims. Because of this, we don’t think sexual assault is likely to happen where we live.

Young people are at the most risk of sexual violence.  54% of sexual assault victims are ages 18-34 and about 15% are 12-17. Over half of these victims are under the age of 30. Specifically, young women are at the most risk. 82% of child victims are female and 90% of adult victims are female as well. These aren’t just numbers, these are people, and they have been taken advantage of and have been hurt physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The fault does not fall on the victims. There was nothing they could do to stop their assault, no matter what they were wearing, where they went, or what they were drinking at the time. Sadly, victim blaming is more common than it should be, and it not only affects what the victim thinks of themselves, but it may affect whether or not they speak up about their experience. Saying things like, “What did you expect would happen?” or “You should’ve been more careful.” cause the victim to self hate and keep quiet about their feelings and what they went through.

So, if not the victims, then who do we talk to so we can stop this? The answer is everyone. Marches, movements, organizations, news articles, and victims that speak about their experience can help spread the word about sexual assault. Students, both boys and girls, should be taught about sexual assault and harassment as soon as they’re old enough to have sex ed class. The more informed people are, the better.

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