If you've been anywhere near the internet this week you'll have encountered the #MeToo campaign. Started on Twitter by Alyssa Milano, it encourages women to speak up about sexual harassment and assault and many have been sharing their experiences on social media in solidarity with others using the hashtag #MeToo. The flood of responses to this highlights the vast scale of this behaviour which has permeated almost every woman’s life. I think it's exceptionally brave to tell that kind of story in a world where victims are regularly shamed for doing so, but there will be many others who won't share their story for their own reasons: please know that you are not alone in this.
Obviously, this is not the whole story and there are many other issues surrounding sexual abuse and harassment, including that directed at non-binary, trans and male individuals and violence perpetrated by women. I am also concerned for those who are feeling constantly pressurised to recall their traumatic experiences when they would very much rather not. However, I do feel that bringing attention to the current situation will force men to acknowledge this behaviour, increase recognition of future incidents of sexual harassment and assault and encourage them to actively speak out against it.
Now that it's clear that this is a global, constant problem, hopefully men will listen: the current culture of shaming victims into silence and refusing to recognise there is even a problem cannot continue. What do you think about #MeToo?
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