#MeToo shows sexual assault and harassment victims that they aren’t alone

Carly Kramer

The empowering hashtag “MeToo” has recently taken the internet by storm. Victims and allies are striving to break the silence of sexual assault and harassment by sharing their stories on social media.

#MeToo Photo by Spinnaker Media

 By tweeting a simple #MeToo, women share that they have also been affected by sexual abuse or harassment and that they won’t tolerate silence any longer.

 Recently, big-time producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and harassment by a number of women in Hollywood.  Twitter decided that enough was enough. The movement is helping to deter victim-blaming and ignoring assault cases. The attention this topic has received on social media has helped victims feel stronger and more likely to speak out against sexual violence.

Actress Alyssa Milano encouraged followers to reply “me too” to her tweet about awareness for sexual abuse and harassment. According to Milano, a friend of hers suggested that “if all 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.” The stories in the tweet’s replies speak volumes. Her tweet has over 68,000 comments and 25,000 retweets.

The mutual feeling of togetherness inspires women to defend themselves and other victims. Recently, UNF Sorority Alpha Chi Omega hosted a Take Back the Night rally with the Women’s Center. The candle-lit event illuminated the bravery of victims. Katelynn Quarrels, a sexual assault victim and awareness advocate attended the ceremony and left us with some food for thought: keep sharing your stories because someone is out there to listen.

 You can always contact the UNF 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at (904) 620-1010, or the Women’s Center at (904) 620-2528 if you or someone you know needs help.


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