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#MeToo Campaign Raises Awareness about Sexual Assault

Millions of Sexual Assault Victims Share ‘Me Too’ Stories

Women have posted #MeToo on social media this week to share their stories of sexual assault or harassment in the wake of allegations made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The movement aims to highlight how ubiquitous this problem is and to open a global dialogue on how to tackle it.

The movement was initiated by Alyssa Milano, former co-star of Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s accusers. A screenshot she tweeted stated: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

Celebrities including America Ferrera, Monica Lewinsky and Lady Gaga have also joined in tweeting #Metoo.

In a statement, Milano said: “When we hear cases of sexual abuse, harassment and assault play out in a public way, it gives us all extreme heartache but also, strength and fortitude. Strength to share our stories and feel supported by women and men who can say ‘me too’. And if through that gift of fundamental support we can highlight the rampant nature of sexism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse then maybe, just maybe, we can change the culture that has nurtured this behavior and… change it.”

Over 60,000 people have since replied to Milano’s tweet. The allegations of Harvey Weinstein’s assault of dozens of women appear to be what encouraged women to join in. Since the stories of Weinstein’s victims surfaced, several stories relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment within the film industry and beyond have been brought to the public’s attention.

Reese Witherspoon has said that she was assaulted by a director when she was 16. Carrie Fisher reportedly sent a cow tongue to a predatory producer after he attacked her friend Heather Ross. Singer Björk has also revealed details of being sexually harassed by Antichrist director Lars Von Trier.

More women are sharing their stories online in the hope that a new attitude towards harassment will develop, especially in the film industry.

Further reading: Quentin Tarantino on Harvey Weinstein: “I Wish I Had Taken More Responsibility”

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