Social Media and Sexual Assault

Seth Goldstein (TC)'s picture

Social media has become a place where victims of sexual assault have found a voice. Because sexual assault is such a devastating and difficult experience, it is often very challenging for victims to report their attacks or speak up against their attackers. However, we have recently seen people using social media to speak up against their sexual assault attackers. Victims are using Facebook posts to talk about their experiences or using Twitter to call out their attackers. Specifically on Twitter, victims are increasingly using the #metoo and #timesup hashtags to let it be known that they are victims and standing up against sexual violence. 

This has been extremely prevelant in the music and film industry. As many of us are probably aware, it first started out with an actress calling out Harvery Weinstein for sexual abuse. After that, it seemed like every single day a big named hollywood actor was being accused of sexual assault and victims were coming forward one after another. It is extremely upsetting that so many people were involved in these horrible acts of violence, but it was empowering to see women come forward and stop these men from attacking anyone else. 

The use of social media gave these women a voice and the power to call out their attackers.

But, do you think that social media can actually diminish sexual assaults from occurring?

Do you believe that attackers will stop uisng sexual violence because of the increasing use of social media?

Why do you think it has taken until now for these social media movements to gain speed and support?