"#MeToo" Sheds Light on Sexual Harassment and Assault

MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - "Me too." 

 

Those two words sparked a growing conversation on social media about the magnitude of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Women and some men have used "#MeToo" on sites like Facebook and Twitter to share personal stories of becoming a victim of unwanted advances.

 

The phrase has become a show of solidarity among survivors following the sexual abuse allegations against former Hollywood big shot Harvey Weinstein.

 

The growing number of people using this hashtag gives a glimpse into how widespread this problem is.

 

Tennessee native and actress Reese Witherspoon recently revealed she was sexually abused by a Hollywood director when she was 16 years old.

 

Stories like hers have been flooding social media.

 

Millions of people have engaged in the conversation on Facebook and hundreds of thousands on Twitter.

 

We took the hashtag out of the digital world and asked Memphians about it.

 

Some have seen the social media posts.

 

"Some were shocking to me people that I didn't know who had had this happen to them," said Sandra Martin. Martin said she did not have a personal story but she has family members who do.

 

"Back generations in my family I know of women that were abused and there was nothing they could do about it, married and they could not speak out," said Martin.

 

Some like aspiring teacher Courtney Logan opened up with their own story.

 

"I've been stalked before. Different opportunities where I might not have been in the right place at the right time. And before I've been date raped," said Logan.

 

Logan said she hopes more survivors find the strength to speak up to help others.

 

"So often as women we're taught just to keep quiet. Or don't let that shape who you are and you should just move on and be strong but within being strong and having the strength it is to have a voice also," said Logan.

 

"Saying that these things happen to us takes a tremendous amount of courage," said Deborah Clubb, Executive Director of the Memphis Area Women's Council.

 

Clubb said beyond social media she hopes the growing conversation leads to long-awaited change, adding that people as bystanders can unite to condone the illegal behavior and help put an end to it.

 

"We need to keep talking and outing the people who are doing that stuff," said Clubb.

 

The Memphis Area Women's Council is set to help host "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," a men's march next Wednesday, October 25 against sexual violence.

 

We posted a link to resources for victims on localmemphis.com under the "Find It" section.


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