#MeToo gives solidarity to people affected by assault

SarahBeth Davis

Trending on social media, #metoo was established to raise awareness for the amount of sexual assault that takes place and to allow those affected to stand together.

The hashtag started after this tweet by actress Alyssa Milano:

Milano tweeted in the wake of the numerous sexual assault allegations against former producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein.

Those all over, including in the WKU and Bowling Green area, have been using the tag. Certain participants are reposting the above, while others are posting their stories, or opinions, while many just put “me too” as their status or tweet.

The tag gives a sense of the scope of people affected by sexual violence. It is also a place for discussion on sexual assault and the way it is handled.

It has started a conversation about victim blaming, which can frequently be a problem with these cases, where those who have been assaulted are not believed.

There has been debate over whether or not the tag extends to men who have been sexually assaulted as well. One side views it distracts from the issue that sexual assault affects women in greater numbers.

A criticism of the movement is saying that it could put pressure on those who might not be ready to talk, and force them to reveal their trauma. Hope Harbor, which provides services for those affected by sexual assault or abuse in the Barren River Area, posted on facebook on the matter.

Elizabeth Madariaga, a staff counselor and sexual assault service coordinator at WKU’s Counseling and Testing Center, thinks the tag is a good way for people to express themselves safely.

“When you put the #MeToo, you don’t know the whole story behind what’s going on, and I think people feel safe being able to do it that way, and it also presents a sense of solidarity.” said Madariaga.

If you have been affected by sexual violence, reach out for help. WKU Police can be reached at 745-2548 and should be contacted in the instance of sexual assault or rape.

The WKU Counseling and Testing Center provides counseling and therapy to students for a one time fee of $20.

Hope Harbor is a local sexual trauma recovery center. Their 24-Hour crisis line can be reached at 1-800-656-4673 or (270) 846-1100.