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#MeToo Highlights Prevalence of Sexual Harassment, Assault

Baihly Warfield
October 19, 2017 08:15 PM

Me too. 

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Millions of people have shared those two small words over the past week or so, telling the world that they, too, have experienced sexual harassment or assault. 

Trafficking Outreach Advocate Makoons Miller-Tanner said social media campaigns like #MeToo open the door for conversation and disprove the myth that bad things only happen to bad people. 

"Things like the #MeToo campaign show that it's not bad people, it's your neighbor, your cousin, your child's best friend. It's really anybody and everybody," Miller-Tanner said. 

She said it's effective for some people to share their experience this way because they can simply write, "Me too," or they can share details about what happened to them. 

"It really doesn't surprise me that people feel comfortable coming forward in this way," Miller-Tanner said. "I hope it opens up more dialogue for more people to come forward and for people to feel comfortable reporting and creating a more positive environment for coming forward."

Assault and harassment can be anything from unwanted sexual advances to exploitation. And it stems from consent issues, Miller-Tanner said. 

"A sexual assault is something that's very isolating, and it's one of the only crimes out there where a victim is considered a liar until proven truthful," Miller-Tanner said. "When people can see the prevalence of that in their own community, it makes that world open up for a survivor."

If someone does want to share about a sexual assault or harassment situation, Miller-Tanner said to be supportive and try to put aside preconceived biases. 

She said she believes educating our young people, especially boys, about consent and physical boundaries will help prevent sexual assaults moving forward. She also encouraged parents to allow young children to say no when it comes to someone touching them. 


Credits

Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2017 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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