Feature: #METOO – Sexual assault doesn’t stop at Hollywood.

The depressing truth of Sexual assault in Hollywood has finally come to light in recent weeks; global News outlets have been covering the stories and statements of victims with more and more speaking out every day.

The victims of Hollywood power player, Harvey Weinstein, have come forward with the shocking truth about the behaviour and trauma they have so wrongfully endured by Weinstein. Celebrities are sharing their experiences via Social Media with the Hashtag #MeToo in efforts to shed light on a suppressed issue. The strength and bravery of each victim by sharing their own story and encouraging the change are creating a comfortable and accepting atmosphere on social media for others also to share.

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Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o is one of many A-list Actresses to address the important issue with Weinstein. The star met the producer early in her career in 2014 and admitted, “He was one of the first people I met in the industry, and he told me, ‘This is the way it is.’ And wherever I looked, everyone seemed to be bracing themselves and dealing with him, unchallenged,” she wrote, in an op-ed published in The New York Times. The strange encounter happened in Weinstein’s home for a screening with Lupita and his children, he offered Lupita a drink, for which she refused and then asked her to join him upstairs, to “show her something”. Harvey then proposed to give her a massage, and Lupita quickly reversed the situation. “I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.

Thankfully, UK female politicians have also come forward to share their stories of assault from those of power, using their platform to speak out. Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Mary Creagh share traumatic stories with the Evening Standard.

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017

Phillips recalls an incident with a male superior at work

“I was working in a bar, and I remember going to a party and we went back to someone’s house and my boss was there. I had fallen asleep on the sofa and when I woke up he was undoing my belt and trying to get into my trousers. I was absolutely paralysed with fear. He was loads older than me — maybe 25 years older. Someone else came in the room and dragged him off me. Then I went back to work the next day … it’s hard to comprehend that these things are happening until after the event.”

The events after the incident was nothing short of unjust, Phillips was sure nothing would be done about the assault and was compelled to try and move on without help or justice. Like any trending topic, the hashtag will stop trending. However, the message and power of support for those that have endured sexual assault (no matter who you are) is something that, as a society, we should be working together to support.

What can we do to help #METOO keep its wings?

  1. Know what Sexual assault is.
  2. Ask If you have made someone uncomfortable
  3. Think before ‘making a move’ on someone.
  4. Speak out if you’re uncomfortable. To them or a friend.
  5. Report the incident and know you’re not alone.

Words by Dilpreet Taak
Instagram: @dilpreettaak

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