The #MeToo hashtag and movement, started ten years ago by activist Tarana Burke, was made viral in a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano last month, where she invited survivors of sexual assault to retweet it with #MeToo. In the wake of the exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged abuse of women in the entertainment industry, the Internet and social media have been flooded with stories of sexual trauma. The continuing conversation about sexual violence has reached beyond Hollywood as allegations against figures ranging journalist Mark Halperin to former President George H.W. Bush have come to light, spawning more survivor stories.
The #MeToo hashtag has opened up an important and long-overdue national conversation about sexual violence. The conversation has included discussions around disclosure. Are survivors obligated to share their stories of trauma publicly in order to heal and help others? And when is the right time to share this information? What is the best way to respond when someone else shares a story of sexual violence with us? The #MeToo hashtag has also been a sobering reminder that women are not the sole targets of sexual assault: 1 in 10 rape victims is male and 50% of transgender individuals will be sexually abused or assaulted in their lifetime.
Whether you are a survivor of sexual violence or a support person or loved one to a survivor, here are some resources to help you navigate the ongoing #MeToo movement in a way that feels supportive and healing.
- What to Know If Seeing ‘Me Too’ on Your Facebook Feed Is Hard For You (The Mighty)
- What to say to someone who shares a sexual assault story with you(Chicago Tribune)
- #MeToo: How to Respond to Sexual Trauma (Huffington Post)
- BuzzFeed Asked People If They Wanted To Share Their Me Too Stories And We Were Moved By The Results (Buzzfeed News)
- Recovering from Sexual Violence (RAINN)
- Building Supportive Communities: How We Can Make Every Space Safe for Survivors (Everyday Feminism)
- Transgender Sexual Violence Survivors: A Self Help Guide to Healing and Understanding (Forge Forward)