Thousands respond ‘me too’ on sexual abuse
WASHINGTON - AP
Actress Alyssa Milano has sparked a huge outpouring with a simple Twitter request that women respond “me too” if they have been sexually assaulted or harassed.
More than 27,000 people replied, making “#MeToo” the top trending topic through the day on Oct. 15.
The avalanche of painful personal stories comes amid a series of high-profile sex abuse scandals, the latest centered around powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The intensity and breadth of the response underscored how the problem extends well beyond the rich and famous, affecting the everyday lives of women around the world.
“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” Milano wrote.
In France, a similar campaign with the top-trending hashtag #balancetonporc (“Expose the pig”) saw women share their experiences of being sexually harassed at work or in the street.
It was started by Sandra Muller, a journalist who began the hashtag by recounting how her former boss had called her “my type of woman” and then commented on her breasts.
Many women in the US and France appeared to be speaking out for the first time about abuses they had suffered, often saying they had to overcome feelings of shame and embarrassment to do so. Some women using the #metoo hashtag said they had been abused as children by relatives, or as a teenager by a person they trusted. That nobody believed them when they spoke about it emerged as a common refrain.