ccording to RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is. In the midst of a rash of sexual assault and harassment allegations taking over Hollywood, this week survivors are taking to social media to show how prevalent, and close to home, the problem really is.
Tarana Burke started a social media movement ten years ago that this week had all the world talking.
The Brooklyn-based activist works as the program director for Girls for Gender Equity, an organization dedicated to empowering women of color. Burke talks about listening to a young girl’s story of sexual assault on the organization’s website, and how her reaction to it inspired her to encourage victims to speak out together to promote mass healing.
It really took off this week when celebrity Alyssa Milano tweeted about it.
The Charmed actress shared the suggestion that any woman who had been sexually harassed or assaulted should tweet “Me too” in response, in order to show the magnitude of this problem.
And she herself even took part.
Announcing you’ve been harassed or assaulted isn’t easy, but the star’s willingness to open up about being a victim set the stage for others to come forward. Some of the participants were surprising.
Anna Paquin also tweeted "me too" in response.
The star of True Blood and X-Men won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 11, making her the second youngest person to ever win the honor. But apparently she too has a been a victim of assault or harassment.
Debra Messing also joined in.
Adding to the chorus of household names admitting they’d been victimized, the Will & Grace star retweeted Milano’s tweet with her own admission. And as the numbers of highly visible participants grew, other victims became emboldened to speak out.