Abuse and Sexual Assault
If you have been on social media at all over the last few days, you may have seen status and updates posted by friends and family members, as well as celebrities, that begin with the tag “Me Too.” The content of such posts may also have surprised you, as thousands of women around the world shared some of their darkest experiences with sexual harassment and abuse.Two Words
The grassroots campaign traces back more than a decade but a resurgence was led by a Twitter post from well-known actress Alyssa Milano in response to allegations of rampant sexual assault and harassment throughout the entertainment industry. The most prominent accusations have been leveled against a high-profile film producer, but countless others have begun to surface. In her post this past Sunday, Milano encouraged all women who have ever been sexually assaulted or harassed to post a two-word status on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status,” Milano wrote, “we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”Overwhelming Response
Within just a few hours, women took the actress’s request to heart, with more than 200,000 #MeToo posts appearing on Twitter by the next morning. Tens of thousands of others took to Facebook, not only posting the two words of solidarity but also sharing their own stories of sexual victimization.
Women—and men—recounted how they have been subjected to sexual assault, many of them at a young age, and how they have been unable to come forward and share their experiences before now. A number of actresses, singers, and other entertainers also joined the effort including Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, and Lady Gaga.
Follow-up posts from many women have expressed a sincere appreciation for the frankness of those who shared their stories but also recognized the duplicity of the situation. One post to Twitter read, “Best Thing: Finding out we are not alone and have all dealt with this. Worst Thing: Finding out we have all dealt with this #MeToo”High-Profile Sexual Abuse
In the wake of the #MeToo effort, thousands of disturbing stories of sexual abuse have been shared, including allegations by actress Jennifer Lawrence and Olympic gold-medal gymnast McKayla Maroney. The two women separately recounted personal experiences of abuse that was allegedly systemic in Hollywood and within USA Gymnastics, respectively.
While the stories shared by celebrities are certainly harrowing, it has been disconcerting for many to see numerous accounts of sexual victimization of people in their own families and social circles. One male Twitter user shared a particularly poignant thought, “[H]ey dudes if you’re surprised how many people posting to #metoo are women you know[,] think what that means about the men you know[.]”Seek Legal Help
If you have suffered injuries due to sexual assault or abuse, your abuser may face criminal charges, but you may also be to able seek damages for the injuries you have sustained. To learn more about your options, contact our legal team today. At Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, we stand united with victims of sexual assault and harassment, and we are equipped to help you seek the justice you deserve.