Time’s Up for sexual abuse

Movements like #MeToo and Times Up are inspiring thousands of people to take a stand against sexual abuse and encouraging women to speak out against their abusers.

For years, sexual assault and rape allegations have gone unreported and unnoticed.  Women, and some men, have been abused and had their cries for help and justice hushed and shoved to the side.  For years, sexual predators have been allowed to walk free, or have only received light punishments, as in the case of Brock Turner, who only served three months in prison for raping an unconscious woman at a party.  For years, victims have been shamed and have kept to themselves.  However, as the movement is titled, Time’s Up.  

In response to the growing support of sexual assault victims to speak out against their assaulters after the Harvey Weinstein scandal and many other high profile men being accused of sexual assault, the social media phenomenon #MeToo spread throughout social media platforms.  The hashtag is a way for women to share their personal stories about sexual assault, harassment and rape.  The movement started on Twitter in October of 2017, and within 24 hours it became viral and there were over 12 million #MeToo Facebook posts within a day of the movement going viral on Twitter, according to CNBC.    

The #MeToo movement began in 2006, when Tarana Burke co-founded an organization that focused on improving the health and well-being of women of color.  She was a survivor of sexual abuse and wanted to help other victims, which is when the Me Too movement was founded.  But, it took over a decade for the movement to affect the lives of thousands of women, kickstarting when actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women to reply to her tweet with the words “Me Too” if they had been victimized also.  

Following the #MeToo movement, many Hollywood actresses and actors came together and introduced the Time’s Up movement, also in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations.  Many Hollywood stars attended the Oscars wearing all black or Time’s Up pins, in support of the movement and as a way to introduce the platform to the world.  Time’s Up was founded January 1, 2018, and according to their website, aims to end sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace.  It aims to help victims of assault by raising money and encouraging them to speak up against their abusers.  

Movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up are necessary in modern society, throughout America and internationally.   Too many women have been silenced, encouraged not to speak against their abusers, and shamed for what happened to them.  According to the Time’s Up website, 1 in 3 women ages 18-34 have been sexually harassed at work, but 71% of those women never reported it.  These movements have transcended our American borders and have encouraged women in other countries to speak out, with one-third of the world’s countries having no laws prohibiting sexual harassment at work.

Many sexual abusers hold positions of power, such as award-winning actors, news personalities, and politicians–even the president of the United States.  But, times are changing, as many of these high-profile men have been removed from their positions after accusations of sexual assault, such as Today Show host Matt Lauer and Congressmen Al Franken.  These moments must continue, as it is time for women to no longer be afraid to speak up against their abusers, and for sexual assault in the workplace to no longer be a norm.     

These movements have transcended our American borders and have encouraged women in other countries to speak out, with one-third of the world’s countries having no laws prohibiting sexual harassment at work.”