Have you seen the #MeToo hashtag floating around your social media pages recently? This two word hashtag has a deeper meaning behind it than you might have known. It’s more than just a trend, it’s a movement. Now this viral movement is bringing even more awareness to a very troubling topic.
What It’s About
You may have seen women post it as their status updates on Facebook or tweet it out on Twitter. After recent allegations surfaced around the Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, Actress Alyssa Milano sent out a tweet Sunday October 15th, 2017 that sparked this viral movement. She asked for any woman who has ever been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed to reply “me too”. Soon after this tweet women everywhere began to spread the hashtag #MeToo. This movement has sparked public awareness on the topic of sexual violence and created a way for women to feel free to speak up about their own personal experiences.
How To Get Involved
This movement has been brought to social media to spread awareness. It brings people together who have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. They can share their experiences, give advice, and use #MeToo to accelerate the movement. As a college student you can use the hashtag #MeToo and post a picture on your social media accounts. Under the picture, write a caption tell your story about your personal experience with sexual violence. This can help other college students going through this and can also inspire them to be more vocal about sexual violence.
Lessons Learned From The #MeToo Movement
A lot can be learned from the stories arising out of this movement. When browsing through the #MeToo hashtag you will see women around the world that identify with the movement and are not afraid to let their horrible experience prevent them from speaking out against such acts. You’ll learn that you are not alone if you have ever experienced this. You’ll understand that there are women of all races and ages who have experienced sexual assault and/or harassment. It is clear from the public outcry that more needs to be done to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment against women. Women need to feel safer, feel as though they can speak up against these acts, know they aren’t alone and know what to do if these types of acts ever do occur. As a young college student these lessons are invaluable to you. We hope that they stick with you and that you can help spread this information and create more awareness. You can help prevent these acts on campus and fight for the rights of women, especially women in college.
Resources at UAlbany for Sexual Assault
As a college student, it is important to be aware of your surroundings on campus and to be prepared for such situations. As unfortunate as it is, nearly 23% of college women experience sexual assault and/or sexual harassment. There are many resources at UAlbany that you can reach out to if you are ever in need of help, including:
- Utilize the blue light system. Near each blue light on campus there is a phone under it and you can call UPD if you suspect any suspicious acts.
- There is also the rad self defense system that is a self defense tactics and technique course. It is open to women and men.
- You can go to the Advocacy Center for Sexual Assault located in the Indian Quad. This center provides students with a welcoming and safe place to get help and receive support in the aftermath of sexual violence.
- Contact the University Police at 518-442-3131. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Visit the UAlbany’s Counseling Center located at 400 Patroon Creek Blvd in Albany. You can also schedule an appointment with them by calling 518-442-5800
- Contact the Title IX Coordinator. The Coordinator is there to manage the University’s response to sexual violence. It is their to mission to prevent, eliminate and address instances of sexual violence. Contact them at 518-956-8014
The hashtag #MeToo is more than a social media trend, it’s a movement. This viral movement is shedding light on a topic that previously was kept in the dark. Now that you know what this hashtag really means, you can join the movement and get involved and become more aware of the reality behind sexual harassment and sexual violence. We hope that you have been informed on the resources available at UAlbany to help you if you or someone you know ever encounters this type of problem. If you have any advice you want to share with us or if you know of any additional resources we didn’t list, please comment below!
Image Courtesy of Kaz