CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’ve been on social media this week, you’ve likely noticed the hashtag #MeToo.
The “Me Too” campaign started this weekend in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. And as CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, many victims are embracing the opportunity to share their stories publicly.
Actress Alyssa Milano started the movement Sunday with a tweet encouraging people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to reply “me too.”
The response from Hollywood stars to everyday people was, both, overwhelming and eye-opening to many.
“My first thought was, how brave,” said Megan Blomquist, who works with victims through the Chicago organization Rape Victim Advocates. “When you see someone else raising their voice, putting themselves out there that this has happened, I think it’s natural to feel a little bit more comfortable doing the same thing.”
Blomquist shared her own story on Facebook, as did her colleague, Brendan Yukins.
“I made the post but I chose not to do sort of a paragraph explanation because I felt like I wanted to add my survivorship, but not necessarily take up more space with my story,” Yukins said.
Yukins says the more people talk about it, the more it helps victims and survivors. “If people are able to look online and see that a lot of other people have the same experience, they’re less likely to victim blame themselves and internalize it and say this is my fault for what happened — that I’m different or I’m weird.”
Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Nicole Lightman says speaking up on social media can be a good first step for victims of inappropriate behavior, CBS Los Angeles reports.
“People are a little more aware of it. A bit more of something that’s out there and discussed and a little less shameful,” Lightman said.
The “me too” movement has now created the hashtag #IHave, which encourages people who have sexually harassed or assaulted someone to acknowledge it on social media.