Column: “Me too” campaign shines light on dark topic



As of Oct. 16, over 27,000 people have responded to the initial tweet posted by actress Alyssa Milano. This tweet blew up in a matter of hours after its initial post on October 15.

Olivia Couch, Co-Editor

On the news as of lately, more and more cases are coming forth in regards to sexual assault. From the Bill Cosby case to the recent Harvey Weinstein investigation, it has been proven that assaults are not limited to wealth, city population, or even gender. Regardless, it is a problem desperately needing to be addressed.

As conducted by Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, and an average of 321,500 Americans over the age of 12 are victims of sexual assault each year. They have also concluded that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men are a victim of sexual assault in their lifetimes.

Although these stats state a clear problem, these numbers are stated based on reported attacks. A disclaimer on the page describes how hard it is to track actual sexual assault data due to the reason that many attacks go unnoticed. People are often hesitant to come forth due to embarrassment, feeling as though it was their fault, thinking people won’t believe them, or fearing it will ruin some form of reputation or standard. However, all these reasons need to be eliminated. Victims have suffered enough. Why should they suffer alone?

In attempts to console those silently suffering from the aftermath of such an attack, the “Me Too” trend was created. Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “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.”

With an overwhelming number of responses, many ask: where do we go from here? I feel that when big news like this breaks out, everyone is upset for a while. There’s a lot of coverage and anger and interviews, but in the end, it fades away until another case comes up. That’s the problem. Sexual assault is something that is being taken case by case. It’s an issue, but it really only gets brought up when some, let’s say, big time Hollywood producer gets caught.

A tweet that has recently gone viral comes from Benjamin Law who wrote, “Guys, it’s our turn. After yesterday’s endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.”

Law promotes that men and women should work together to call out predatory behavior, teach their children respect for others, and listen to those whom voice their struggles.

This is exactly what needs to happen. I think the stories being published are great. People who sexually assault others should be sentenced, should lose their jobs, and should be criminalized in society. It is wrong, vile, and horrendous how often things like this happen, and no one is truly safe from this predatory behavior. The change has to start somewhere, so we must ask ourselves: Why not now? Why not us?

For any of those who have been sexually assaulted, know that it wasn’t your fault. Know that there are many people who have been through the same situation, and that there is no shame in being a victim. Know that the attack doesn’t define you. The only way we can make a difference is to speak up, and thanks to the “Me Too” campaign, light is finally being shed on the subject many want to overlook.