Social media hashtag #MeToo brings sexual assault awareness

If you were to pull up Google and type in just the number sign, the hashtag #MeToo is the first result that will pop up. Out of all the hashtags in the world, one that intros the stories of sexual assault is the most predictable search option.

Everyday, the movement’s social media presence grows. More and more men and women are adding their testimonies and stories of abuse to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With every post and every story, we take one more step towards educating the population that sexual assault is a problem that deserves our immediate attention.

There is one club on campus that got its start thanks to two passionate juniors who hope to use this opportunity to not only show support for victims, but potentially find volunteer opportunities to help those affected by sexual abuse. Hope Jardine and Jillian Harris started the club Women in Action, or W.I.A for short, this year. The club’s main goal is to serve as a comfortable place to discuss and educate students on the feminism movement. “We want W.I.A to be a representation of feminism and equality on campus.” Jardine explained. “A lot of kids don’t know how they can stand up for feminism or make any sort of difference on campus, and this club is a way to do that on a small scale.”

With events such as the ones in Hollywood, the co-presidents believe it is important to show solidarity. “I think that telling a survival story on social media can provide a victim with empathy and support, as well as unity with other victims.” says Harris. The hashtag has offered a safe place, so to speak, for victims to talk about their encounters with people who understand. It offers solidarity in a volatile place. It assures survivors that they are not alone, and that their experience matters.

The saddest piece of this story is that it is being seen as a fad. The worst moments of people’s lives are being reduced to a trend. This is not a trend that simply started out of the blue. People get sexually assaulted every day and that is our reality. The concept of the #MeToo campaign is to spread sexual assault awareness in the hopes to see it come to an end.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, the hotline is available 24 hours a day to support anyone who wants to share their story in a private setting. The number is 1-800-656-4673.