Sexual Assault Survivors Break Collective Silence With Viral #MeToo Hashtag

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Sexual Assault Survivors Break Collective Silence With Viral #MeToo Hashtag

In the wake of reports about Harvey Weinstein's alleged misconduct, victims of sexual harassment and assault are posting the two-word message

Actress Alyssa Milano posted this explanation of the "Me too" campaign to her Twitter profile on Sunday, Oct. 15. (Photo: @Alyssa_Milano/Twitter)

In the wake of bombshell reports revealing rampant allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, survivors of sexual harassment and assault have taken to social media with the #MeToo hashtag as a way to raise awareness about "the magnitude of the problem."

The campaign was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, whose Charmed co-star Rose McGowan is one of Weinstein's accusers. McGowan's suspension from Twitter last week provoked #WomenBoycottTwitter, and subsequent promises from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that company leaders are focused "on making some critical decisions" and have "decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them."

Many #MeToo posts included an explanation of the campaign that Milano tweeted on Sunday: "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."

Posters included public figures such as other actresses and politicians.

Some were quick to point out that those sharing their stories—or simply the "me too" message—on social media did not account for every survivor of sexual misconduct.

The campaign triggered expressions of solidarity, including from the Women's March account, which thanked survivors for their "bravery to speak up."

Multiple advocacy groups posted messages of support, and shared relevant statistics and links to resources.

It even spurred a response hashtag: #IWill, a public declaration that the user will participate in actions to eradicate sexual harassment and assault.

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