By Millette Millington
Published: February 14th, 2018
There has been a lot of progress made with the “Me-Too” movement since movie producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault in early October of last year. Following those allegations, many other cases of sexual abuse against big Hollywood names like actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., and former Alabama candidate for Senate re-election Roy Moore have surfaced. The most recent claims were against former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and Michigan State University physician, Larry Nassar.
According to a report from CNN, Nasser was given a prison sentence between 40 and 175 years, after more than 150 women and girls testified during a full week in court that he had sexually abused them over the past two decades. The fact that so many people have come forward with sexual allegations does not surprise me. When instances of sexual abuse have occurred, the natural instinct for women has been to stay silent, while men go on with their lives as usual.
This won’t just be another social media justice trend that will desensitize us to the issue and be gone tomorrow. Sexual abuse and its subdivisions, including assault, rape, and molestation, are issues that have been a part of our culture for years, and it will not disappear overnight. Once an instance of sexual abuse happens to a woman, or a man, it remains with them for the rest of their lives. The pain and scars that they have endured will take time to subside and heal. For these reasons, it is absolutely necessary to hold those who have caused harm to individuals accountable for their actions. This includes politicians, movie producers, actors, and so on. If they did anything inappropriate to anyone, they should be honest enough to admit the truth of their actions. However, these acts should never be committed by anyone, especially by those in politics, entertainment, or any other position of power.
According to statistics from the National Center for Victims of Crime, “one in five girls and one in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse; self-report studies show that 20 percent of adult females and 5-10 percent of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident; During a one-year period in the U.S., 16 percent of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized; Over the course of their lifetime, 28 percent of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized.” These statistics show how broad the discussion of sexual abuse is and how it affects the lives of those who experience it, no matter what age group they are from.
The victims of these powerful individuals in politics and the entertainment industry, both men and women, have spoken out in order to relieve themselves of their emotional burdens. They have also spoken out in order to make people aware of the abuse of power going on around them, and to encourage others not to be afraid to speak up when they are going through sexually traumatic experiences.