The hashtag #MeToo has flooded social media paired with people’s personal stories and posts indicating that they are survivors of sexual violence.
The hashtag brought attention to sexual harassment and assault. Although it is currently trending, the Me Too movement was started long before the hashtag.
The Me Too campaign was created by activist Tarana Burke in an effort to help women of color who survived sexual abuse, assault or exploitation, and are marginalized after they come forward with their story.
Although Burke’s campaign has been going on for over 10 years, it never caught media attention.
#Metoo gained traction shortly after Hollywood actresses started coming out with their sexual harassment stories involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.
The hashtag’s starting point came when actress Alyssa Milano posted on Twitter that anyone who has been sexually abused or harassed to reply to her tweet with “me too”.
Now because of social media, the trending hashtag has sparked conversation and action. Thousands of people were able to connect with other survivors and share their stories.
It also reminded everyone that both men and women are vulnerable to sexual harassment and abuse, that an assaulter will attack no matter what a person looks like, what they wear, or even what gender or age they are and that sexual assault and harassment are so common, but no one seems to talk about or do anything about it.
The hashtag encouraged survivors to come forward and gave them a voice.
Mostly women and some men used Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to let their stories be known.
Some were very lengthy and included details about what happened to them, how long it went on, who their attacker was and how old they were at the time. Some others simply posted #MeToo.
Social media influencers and users with large amounts of followers used their accounts to put other people’s stories out there.
As survivors posted their experiences, they received comments and replies of comfort and support.
Some victims who shared their story were even contacted by their assaulter in hopes to minimize their actions.
Due to the large amount of people publicly stating that they are survivors of sexual abuse and harassment, the hashtag suddenly became a movement that was taken from the internet to the streets.
The Me Too campaign decided to take action and created a #MeToo march which took place on Sunday, Nov. 12, in Hollywood.
The march, which had a good turnout, was a response to show support to thousands of people coming forward as victims.
If you, or someone you know, are a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault here are some suggested hotlines or places on campus to be heard and get help.