How the #MeToo Movement Has Impacted College Students
Since the #MeToo movement has been reignited since its original beginning in 2006, young women have taken it and used it as a tool to empower survivors of sexual assault. We have seen this happening mainly on Twitter, where this hashtag has encouraged survivors to come forward with their stories or either just a simple hashtag to note their solidarity with the movement. This has become extremely helpful for a lot of survivors that have pushed back those feelings tied to their trauma. It is empowering when you can go right onto your phone and see that you are not alone. We have lived in a world where rape culture swarms every inch of our being. It is no secret that this is still happening and needs to change immediately. I was honestly surprised when this hashtag prevailed because of how prevalent victim blaming is when people are brave enough to come forward about what happened to them. But I was thankfully proven wrong when I saw that it gave millions a voice they never thought they had.
This movement has especially been interesting to see play out on college campuses. The #MeToo movement has amplified the voices of college students who are passionate about keeping sexual violence off their campuses. In fact, this time of the year is the best time to keep this hashtag alive. Experts believe the first six weeks of college is considered the 'red zone' for campus sexual assault. According to rainn.org, “More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November.” This is a scary statistic to come to terms with, especially because I know that there are plenty assaults that go unreported for various reasons.
But this movement has given an entire population of survivors the proper knowledge and strength to be aware of these issues and how to tackle them. Just this hashtag alone has opened up a conversation for people to have about sexual assault and what it really does to survivors. At the same time, it has become tiring to see all of this in the news constantly, especially with the Kavanaugh hearings. I mean emotionally tiring. As someone who is a survivor myself, I find it hard to constantly be reminded of just how far we have to go when it comes to the issue of sexual assault. Despite this, I remind myself that this #MeToo movement is the reason why I along with others have stopped being afraid to tell our stories. We are no longer afraid to talk about this and raise awareness to this issue. Being that I am in college I am able to bring this problem to light by talking about it and writing about it. It is important that college students are involved in important movements like this because it directly impacts their own school. The increase in dialogue surrounding this loaded topic during the ‘red zone’ is extremely important when it comes to keeping college students aware.