#MeToo One Year Later

 

Twitter @TheHill

 

One year ago, the New York Times detailed allegations of sexual wrongdoing by film mogul Harvey Weinstein in an article that unknowingly forced the #MeToo movement into the spotlight. One year later, we can reflect on the impactful strides, but there is still much more to be done.

 

Tarana Burke founded the #MeToo movement to empower women who are victims of sexual assault or harassment through empathy and support, according to the official website. Her campaign gained an influx of members when Alyssa Milano asked victims to stand together by replying “Me too” to her tweet in the wake of the Weinstein allegations.

 

The Me Too community continues to expand with actresses and survivors like Ashley Judd at the forefront of this crusade to end sexual violence. Every day more and more women and men share their stories as a way of assuring other victims that they are not alone. After one year, #MeToo remains true to their core value of “empowerment through empathy.”

 

The movement has the support of actresses Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman and model Cara Delevingne among others. #MeToo was the driving cause behind rallies and marches across the country to support victims and bring awareness to the prevalence of sexually based crimes. The #MeToo Facebook page has generated over 33 thousand members and counting. The Diamondback reports that the campaign opened up the conversation on campus about sexual assaults. Maryland even passed a bill in February to ensure public schools teach consent, according to The Washington Post.

 

The West Australian

 

Me Too has played a key role in exposing the exploitative ways of predators such as former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, political commentator Bill O’Reilly, ex-Today Show host Matt Lauer. Before these men were ousted, Weinstein was seemingly the straw that broke the camel's back when it came to making the movement go viral.

 

The New York Times’ investigative report zeroed in on Weinstein's pattern of tricking young women into entering private spaces with him, after he told the women they were business meetings, where he would make heinous sexual advances on them. All-in-all the NYT article resulted in more than 50 women coming forward against him with accusations varying from harassment, assault and rape.

 

Recently, tension and passions have been burning from members of the movement as well as people on both ends of the political spectrum over the use of the #MeToo movement. Allegations against the newly-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh threw the Senate into a frenzy when Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her while they were both high schoolers. The hearings sparked a national debate over the U.S. principle of presumption of innocence and believing Ford’s visibly traumatizing recollections.

 

Twitter @Patrick_Irelan

 

Regardless of the reactions to the conversations about sexual assault and harassment, people are finally having conversations about it. Survivors continue to heal alongside other survivors in a judgment-free community. In a year since #MeToo movement went viral, it is still powering forward.   

 

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, visit:

 

Or call:

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

  • University of Maryland Capital Region

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

24/7 Help Hotline 1-301-618-3154

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