This blog post was written by Amy Gregg, YWCA of Greater Atlanta Advocacy Intern and MPH Candidate
Not a single woman I have talked to about #MeToo has seemed surprised that so many women are affected by sexual harassment and sexual violence. Statistics show that one in three women experiences some form of gender-based violence at some point in their lives. If it doesn’t happen to us, we know that it is happening to our sisters, friends, and colleagues.
#MeToo is providing a public platform to discuss and shine much-needed light on a widespread problem. But many of us are asking the question – “what can we do about it?” For #MeToo to be more than a trending hashtag, we need to funnel our energy into concrete actions.
I think we can look to history for inspiration. The first rape crisis centers were established in the 1970s. They served as spaces for survivors to share their stories, as well as for women to organize and advocate for new policies, from laws against spousal rape to HR policies preventing harassment in the workplace.
Let’s use the #MeToo conversation as a launching pad to engage in renewed advocacy work on the personal, organizational, local, state, and national level.
We need to believe women who come forward with stories of assault and harassment. We need men to organize with us and call out their peers for dangerous behaviors and attitudes towards women. We need to block harmful legislation that would make it more difficult for victims to come forward and seek support.
Now add your next steps to this list…