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Why The "Me Too" Campaign Can Actually Help

“Me Too”. You may have seen these words flood your news feed. Women and men posting the phrase, and many without an explanation.

It’s all about speaking out about sexual assault.

While the Harvey Weinstein story has shocked Hollywood, it’s the deeper and more confronting issues it raises that has seen a social media campaign in which women and men are now sharing their personal stories under #MeToo.

Some have complained that the status won’t make a difference, but I beg to differ.

For once, a social media status is bringing to light the sheer amount of people that have been sexually harassed or abused.

When I was 21, I worked with a team of young men who thought it would be funny to etch my name and mobile into a work desk with the words “For a good time, call Anita”. But I was the one who had to quit.

At the same workplace, another member of the team reached his hand between my legs while I was standing at a desk, pretending he had to reach for something from the drawer in front of me.

In my late twenties, I stayed at a man’s house after a work party and he pleasured himself on top of me while I was lying there, drunk off champagne and going in and out of sleep.

I’m sure this is confronting to read, however, it’s important to share these stories and not sweep them under the rug.

The “Me Too” post started as just two words with copy/past instructions:

"Me too... If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Please copy/paste."

Celebrities, artists and actors are also sharing their stories.

Australian Aria Award winner Montaigne (aka Jessica Cerro), shared a story on Facebook.

Montaigne, warns the post is long and that she is usually uncomfortable with sharing her traumas, but “this one isn’t too hectic”.

“Hectic” or not, she felt violated and uncomfortable, as many of us have felt over the years.

US celebrities including Alyssa Milano, Debra Messing, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga and Reese Witherspoon have also taken to social media to say it’s happened to them.

In response, men are standing up and saying “enough is enough”.

American comedy writer, Nick Pappas, says it best:

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse or harassment, the following links may assist you:

https://au.reachout.com/

https://www.1800respect.org.au/violence-and-abuse/sexual-assault-and-violence/support

https://www.blueknot.org.au/

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