The #MeToo movement has challenged women to overcome the embarrassment and possible repercussions that they may face when they come forward and reveal that they have been sexually assaulted. Recently, Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault and sentenced to three to ten years in a maximum security prison. After years of trials and hardships by many women, this symbolic victory was finally put to rest as the many women who convicted Cosby let out a sigh of relief. This is just one of the many cases of sexual violence the public has seen by a well- known figure, using their fame to take advantage of men and women and one example of when #MeToo went the best way possible.

Meanwhile, in D.C., a new Supreme Court Justice was recently appointed, Brett Kavanaugh, who faced an accusation of sexual assault by 51-year-old Christine Blasey Ford. While giving her testimony to the panel, Blasey Ford calmly spoke about her experience and when asked why she waited so long to come forward with these hearty allegations, she replied: “ I am here because it is my civic duty to be” (CNN). The initial hearing lasted one day and after an extensive investigation, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as Supreme Court Justice. This is an example of how not all cases that go to court go as planned by the accusers.

According to Rape and Abuse National Network Statistics, only one in three sexual assaults is ever reported to the police (Griffith). Delays should not be used to discredit accusers. There are many reasons why women don’t report sexual assault. When this traumatic experience happens, a large number of women suppress the memories and never talk about them. This results in them either never bringing it up again, or bringing it up years later when something triggers that memory. Some are scared of the backlash, having people call them liars and seeing them differently,  losing their jobs and more. Others are scared that justice won’t be served no matter if they speak out or not.

The #MeToo movement helps to address the social stigma surrounding sexual violence. For years many women were stuck in silence and now thanks to this movement, they’re speaking out.

Kylie Szymczak  

Current Issues Student 2018-2019

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