Thousands Of Sexual Assault Survivors Are Tweeting #MeToo To Highlight The Scale Of The Problem

It's overwhelming.

sexual assault

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The following article discusses sexual assault.

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has been an almost unprecedented window into the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood. With almost every passing day, more and more survivors have come forward to share their experiences.

Now, sexual assault survivors are tweeting #MeToo in a powerful campaign to highlight the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault more generally. In just a few hours, it’s begun trending worldwide. We knew already knew the problem was huge, but to see the numbers flood in like this is overwhelming and absolutely devastating.

The flood of tweets began after actress Alyssa Milano tweeted asking people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to reply to the tweet with “me too” in an attempt to show the magnitude of the problem. In just a few hours, the tweet has amassed 22,000 replies, ranging from a simple “me too” to people sharing their stories, solidarity and advice.

The hardest thing is that all these tweets are just further evidence of a problem we already knew about. There’s no shortage of information about how widespread sexual harassment and assault are. This year, we’ve already seen a landmark report about the prevalence of rape at Australian universities, which experts nonetheless said probably understated the problem. Survivors have been coming forward with stories for years.

And yet despite all this evidence, stories of sexual assault keep surfacing, on an exhausting scale. People are expressing sadness that they have to share their trauma on this scale to have even a chance of being taken seriously, and rightly so. It’s brave, and exhausting, and should be unnecessary.

The sheer volume of people sharing their experiences here is sobering. We can only hope the people who really need to be sobered by this see it, and do something about it.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit an emergency, call 000.

The National University Support Line also offers 24/7 free trauma counselling, at 1800 572 224. 

Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.