The Me Too movement originally started in 2006 to empower women and girls of color find pathways of healing. Since the hashtag went viral, the conversation about sexual violence has been thrust into the national dialogue. Survivors from all walks of life have been coming forward to help end the stigma associated with trauma and the act of surviving by highlighting the breadth and impact of sexual violence worldwide. As of late, many things have influenced the way society is viewing and reacting to survivors. Those influences range anywhere from victims accepting that they are not alone, and realizing that others are and have been in the same place as they are, to stepping up and pressing charges against the abuser.
At the beginning of January 2018, as a response to #MeToo going viral, the Time’s Up movement was founded by various celebrities to support the stand against sexual harassment. By February 2018, the movement had raised $20 million for its legal defense fund and gathered over 200 volunteer lawyers. The Time’s Up movement is helping women take their abusers to court, and the defense fund they set up allows survivors to focus on their case and not worry about how much the legal fees will set them back.
The #MeToo movement has allowed me to come to terms with my own sexual assault. For the longest time, I had just played it off. I hadn’t been raped, I hadn’t been violated. It wasn’t what I was raised to know sexual assault to be. But seeing all these powerful women speaking their truths and living their best lives by not letting the things that happened to them define them has allowed me to accept that I am not, nor have I ever been at fault. Even more than that, it has inspired me to speak about it openly with my friends.
I’m not gonna lie, everything about being a survivor is terrifying. And it took me a long time to stop feeling dirty and feeling my abuser’s touch. But empowered women have the ability to empower other women, and seeing all of them not just making waves, but making tsunamis is certainly empowering.
The world is currently in a very delicate and volatile place. So, when in doubt, take a deep breath and remember, us girls can do anything we set our minds to. No matter how few people believe us.
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