Sexual assault allegations sparks #MeToo social media campaign

A tweet from Alyssa Milano has sparked a social media campaign. (Provided Photo/Alyssa Milano Twitter page)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Allegations against Harvey Weinstein have sparked a new movement on social media.

It’s called the “#MeToo” campaign and it started when Alyssa Milano tweeted a suggestion from a friend.  The suggesting asks “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘me too’ as a status we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The problem they are talking about is sexual abuse.

Since then it’s been retweeted thousands of times and women all around the world have been using the Hashtag “#MeToo” including celebrities. Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Laura Dreyfuss, Lady Gaga and Evan Rachel Wood.  Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, Aly Austin from Families First in Indianapolis about says it can be a pivotal moment in the movement to stop sexual assault.

“Public awareness is the first step,” said Austin. “This is huge for people to see there are names and faces to this epidemic and to put it in people’s faces that these are not isolated incidences, this is huge. We all need to take steps to prevent sexual assault but also respond well to the survivors who have already happened to.”

Austin says one in five women and one in six men will experience some type of sexual abuse in their lifetime. So everyone knows someone, even if they haven’t disclosed to anyone.

The majority of victims are women and then the majority of perpetrators are men but there are instances where it’s the other way around.  Assault or abuse or harassment can be defined as something done against a person without their consent including physical, psychological and coercive. Even cat-calling counts, as long as it evokes a feeling of being violated.