Since October 2017, the hashtag #MeToo has been used millions of times. In December 2017, Time Magazine gave a name to the women and men speaking out against sexual harassment: Silence Breakers. And in January 2018, Golden Globe attendees dressed in black to show solidarity with survivors, announcing that time was up on harassment, abuse and inequality.
Current conversations about sexual harassment are expansive and powerful. They happen both virtually and in everyday life, on Facebook and Twitter, over dinner tables. At their best, they are inclusive and action-oriented; they refuse to accept a culture of harassment that is unsafe for all, and instead strive for one of equality and support.
Here are just a few of the movements and PSAs aiming to inform, educate and ultimately end harassment and assault.
On January 22, the Ad Council–in partnership with actor and producer David Schwimmer, writer and director Sigal Avin, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)–launched ‘#ThatsHarassment,’ a national campaign to provide support and information to victims of sexual harassment, empower bystanders to speak out, and equip employers with tools to create safe work environments.* The films depict various cases of sexual harassment, all based on real events.
Viewers can find support or information at RAINN.org/ThatsHarassment or by calling the 24-hour National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
In 2006, activist Tarana Burke founded the ‘me too.’ movement to help survivors of sexual violence–specifically young women of color–find healing. In 2017, Alyssa Milano popularized the #MeToo movement on a viral scale after she tweeted the following:
Calling for an end to sexual violence, the movement not only spurred celebrities to share their own stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood, but ignited larger conversations about sexual harassment in the workplace across various industries, ultimately inspiring the creation of TIME’S UP.
The Truth Has A Voice
The New York Times, following its high-profile coverage of Harvey Weinstein and his alleged abuse, shined a spotlight on the pervasive silencing of victims of sexual violence in its Golden Globes ad. Created out of Droga5 New York, the 30-second ad symbolically asserts the power of women’s voices and experiences, as “She said” fills the screen, followed by: “The Truth has power. The truth will not be threatened. The truth has a voice.”
Premiering during the height of the #MeToo movement, The New York Times’ ad continued the cultural conversation about sexual harassment and provided a visual representation of victims’ silence being broken.
More than 300 women in film, television and theater joined together to forge TIME’S UP, a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.” Led by women, TIME’S UP not only aims to raise awareness of sexual harassment across industries, but also to provide the tools to systematically eliminate it. Partnering with advocates for equality and safety, the effort strives to “improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.”
The initiative–announced in the New York Times on January 1, 2018 and proudly displayed on t-shirts and pins in the following weeks–is a rallying cry to address the systematic inequality and injustice that keeps underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential.
*In partnership with the National Women’s Law Center, Schwimmer and Avin have created a digital toolkit for employers and are inviting them (including C-suite executives, HR directors, supervisors and managers) to use these films to educate, inform and ensure they are creating safe work environments for their employees. The toolkit can be downloaded at NWLC.org/ThatsHarassment.
If you’re interested in licensing these films, please contact:
The Harassment Project
Greg Bernstein, Attorney
Email: [email protected]