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The “me too.” movement began in 2006, gaining momentum in recent years to create a roar among millions of sexual harassment and abuse survivors. The movement helps victims of sexual abuse and harassment find support as a community and access to resources for help. The #metoo hashtag became viral on social media in 2017. The internationally-used hashtag empowered men and women with a platform to voice their own painful experiences.
Not only did the “me too.” movement affect individuals, it shifted national attention to sexual violence. Millions of “me too.” supporters continue to push for positive change in workplaces, Hollywood, college campuses and any place where people feel unsafe from unwanted sexual advances.
A movement for accountability
One goal of the movement is to hold accountable perpetrators of sexual harassment and violence. Survivors have come forward with allegations against powerful figures in Hollywood, including movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and APA agent Tyler Grasham. Several politicians resigned after facing sexual harassment allegations. Colorado Representative, Steve Lebsock, was expelled after five women came forward with sexual harassment complaints against him.
Holding perpetrators of sexual harassment and violence accountable can provide a measure of healing for survivors. Men and women who experience sexual harassment in the workplace are protected by the law. Employees who suffer from unwanted sexual advances at work can file sexual harassment claims. However, sexual harassment does not only occur at work.
Sexual harassment happens everywhere
Sexual harassment and abuse can happen at schools, places of worship, hospitals – almost anywhere. Fortunately, there are federal and state laws in place to protect people outside of the workplace from harassment and abuse.
Abusers and responsible parties can be held accountable in civil court. For example, over 100 young women and girls testified against USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, due to sexual abuse. Not only was Larry Nassar sentenced to prison, but many gymnasts filed civil lawsuits against organizations that failed to protect them. No matter the circumstances, survivors have resources to seek justice and accountability.