Sexual Assault: Positive Trends

By Daniel D’Amico, Trending Writer

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has positively increased awareness for those who have sexually assaulted others and for those who have been sexually assaulted.

More than 50 women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault or harassment states DW. Along with Weinstein, a number of other prominent people in the entertainment industry were also accused. This list includes Dustin Hoffman, Bret Ratner and Kevin Spacey, among others.

Through the various females coming out about these abuses in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, awareness is spreading about the issue. It has had the positive impact of encouraging others to speak out against those who they feel have harmed them in the past.

Alyssa Milano, one of the many to speak out against Weinstein, used the situation as a platform for women to use on social media. According to the New York Times, she posted on Twitter asking for anyone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted to reply “me too”. This caused tens of thousands of people to reply with “me too”, many of which told their personal stories.

This was another huge step in the area of recognition for this issue. Here social media was used as a means of letting numerous victims share their struggles with others.

In fact, actress Ashley Judd discussed how these accusations against Weinstein could be the “tipping point” on sexual harassment according to CBS News. She also added, “This will be the end of it if we decide that’s what we want.”

She highlighted how everyone’s recognition of these victims indicates a potential end to this harassment and scandals. Despite this thinking, there is still a lot left to be done about the issue.

According to the Guardian, Jane Pillinger, an academic who has written reports for the UN’s International Labour Organisation states “the #metoo campaign has shown that women have been silent on this for decades because they know that if they complain or raise their voice, they are ridiculed or experience retaliation or discrimination in the workplace.” She talks about how many still have to overcome certain obstacles in order to come to terms with their stories.

In addition to these risks, there is also the fact that a lot of women do not want to go to court for it. Some hurdles such as the low chance of success with no witnesses is in the way. However, the law is present to protect people although it is not always easy to do so.

Despite how sexual harassment still exists and there are risks associated with speaking out, these accusations and the me too movement are good signs moving forward.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 7th print edition.

Contact Daniel at

daniel.damico@student.shu.edu

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