Actress Alyssa Milano on 15th October, 2017, 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.” In doing so, she popularized the campaign to spread awareness on the rampancy of sexual abuse women have to face in the course of their lives.
In our society the stigma related to sexual abuse and harassment is so strong that an individual can suffer for all of their life. Mostly the survivors of abuse receive the blame, shame and guilt for it. Many victim might feel that they have invited abuse, or they deserve it as punishment.
While interacting with my friends and colleagues, I remember discussing the “#MeToo” campaign. Some of my friends used the hashtag but a few of us were uncomfortable to use it. As for me, I felt threatened to put something so private to me on a platform so public. Therefore I think sharing such experiences on social media requires courage. When I saw more and more people using “#metoo” it gave me the confidence to share my story.
The #MeToo campaign was not just an online trend for people, but was an expression of the times they were made to feel unsafe.
The reason the campaign received such huge response was because children and adults have faced such situations in their life and people across the globe could relate to each other over their shared experiences. I can’t even imagine how helpless and lonely a person might feel because of someone else’s actions. The wound of sexual abuse is not usually a one time pain and can scar someone for a lifetime.
I could see the positive side of this campaign, how so many people used “#metoo” to bring harsh reality of sexual abuse to the surface. I think huge response this campaign received was a step forward to show that people are willing to fight against sexual abuse of any kind. Knowing that so many people have gone through similar pain, watching them be strong and empowered enough to spread awareness through social media gave me a sense of support and hope for a better tomorrow.
– Priya Vaidya
(Junior Project Officer, Rubaroo)