As tragic as it is, you may have heard about it in your community, or even on your college campus; it is now surfacing in the lives of Hollywood stars because it is a very real issue that people face too often. That is, being a victim of sexual harassment. This issue may seem uncommon as it is often swept under the rug to protect those who are the cause of this problem, however, it has happened and will continue to happen if it is not brought to light. Many men and women are threatened to keep silent about what they have gone through in order to protect people of higher power in the entertainment industry. After accusations against American film producer, Harvey Weinstein was made public, more victims chose to speak out using the hashtag #MeToo on social media. The Glitz and Glam of Hollywood are not all that it seems when women who are victims of sexual harassment have silently suffered for too long. They are now using their stories to shed light on an issue that is not talked about or taken seriously in our society.
Those accused of such accusations are working to clear their name in Hollywood before losing any potential clients, jobs, and other opportunities. It’s not the same for victims who came forward about their past experiences and risked having their careers put on the line. They have been convinced that no one cares, no one will believe their stories and they will only be creating a bigger problem if they speak out. However, one person sharing their story could be the support someone else needs to come forward with what they have experienced. When people choose to do so, it shows the magnitude of how many people are affected by those who abuse their power and use it against people who may not have that same power. It lets other women know that they are not alone and gives them the confidence to fight for justice.
Men in Hollywood are being held accountable for their actions by losing their jobs, being asked to step down from powerful positions, and publicly apologizing for their unjustifiable acts of misconduct toward women. Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is an issue that will no longer be swept under the rug to protect the reputations of well-respected people. Victims sharing their story are demanding a change in the way women are treated and how such situations are handled in society. #MeToo is more than a hashtag, it is a movement of women who have overcome pain to rise up and break the stigma that stems from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment will no longer be tolerated, and men will not get away with what they have done to colleagues, business partners, or even associates. It is important to always remember: the absence of no is NOT consent and sexual consent can never be assumed.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.