Behind The Hashtag

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The #MeToo movement is sweeping the nation.

Daniela Zavala

Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Meanwhile, only 6 out of 1,000  perpetrators will end up in prison, according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. (RAINN). That’s a devastating statistic, so it’s no wonder that in recent news, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement have been a topic that everyone has heard about. Many celebrities are now using their platforms to bring awareness and stand up for themselves and for many individuals who are voiceless in these horrific assaults. The #MeToo movement began to circulate the Internet Oct. of 2017 and still a current topic in 2018.

Unlike the Time’s Up movement that was founded at the beginning of the January, the #MeToo movement has been around for more than a decade, but recently it has become more known because of a large number of sexual assault accusations that have been made among celebrities in Hollywood. Founded by Tarana Burke in 2006, her main focus is to help survivors, particularly young women of color, but has expanded to all men and women who have experienced sexual violence by implementing the idea of “empowerment through empathy,” to help them find a path towards healing and ensure that they are not alone in this journey or situation. The movement has brought awareness not only globally, but nationally in the United States.

The phrase #MeToo was first tweeted by actress Alyssa Milano, reading “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet” along with a photo explaining the purpose and how it would show the size of the problem. The phrase #MeToo was tweeted over more than half a million times that night of Milano’s tweet and was used by more than 4.7 million people in almost 12 million post on Facebook in the first 24 hours.

Due to all that have been brave and spoken out about sexual violence and harassment, the “Silence Breakers” were named Person Of The Year by TIME Magazine. “This honor is usually given annually to the person or people who have most influenced the news during the past year,” Burke stated on the #MeToo Movement website.

With a new year just starting, many hope to see a change in how society treats each other. As this hashtag continues to be broadcasted, many hope to believe that it will be on the decrease of sexual violence and the growth of love in our world today.