On October 15th, between baby photos and snow reports, #MeToo appeared on my Facebook feed. The hashtag quickly went viral on Twitter and Facebook following the news of Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long history of sexual violence. By using these words, people identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment and assault.
I was unsurprised to see many of my friends add their voices to the chorus. I couldn’t bring myself to read the posts that offered more specific details. I didn’t join the movement, but it did inspire me to ask how I could be part of a solution that didn’t involve social media.
If you saw the trend and were inspired to join, don’t stop there. If you couldn’t raise your voice but want to be part of the solution, you can be. If you were horrified by the magnitude and the details of the problem and you were inspired, act. A movement is only as good as it’s lasting impact.
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Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They work every day to help survivors and prevent future violence.
RAINN is fighting sexual violence through a range of programs:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800.656.4673 and online) This free service provides confidential support to survivors.
- Training Services: RAINN provides the necessary information for local groups to provide services to their communities.
- Public Education: Through the media, the entertainment industry, and colleges across the country RAINN provides accurate information about sexual violence prevention, prosecution, and recovery to the public.
- Public Policy: RAINN works at the federal and state level to improve the criminal justice system, prevent sexual assault, and ensure justice for survivors.
- Rape Kit Testing: RAINN works to reduce the backlog of rape kits across the country.
- Consulting Services: RAINN develops targeted, effective sexual violence education and response programs to meet each organization’s unique needs.
If #MeToo resonated with you, take this opportunity to take action and lend a hand. Social media can be powerful, but only if it leads to action.
You can support RAINN:
- Donate to support their programs
- Volunteer your time
- Get political
- Read the stories of survivors
- Share your own story
Original Contribution by Clarissa Coburn, Marketing Associate at Giving Compass.
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