When I speak to acquaintances or meet new people and speak about my work as a therapist with survivors of sexual and gender based violence, I am often met with a strained face, and a “Wow, that must be really tough.” But the reality is that while I do not think of the work as easy, I have always been able to see it as a positive way for survivors to be heard, and to say as much or as little as they want in a safe space. However, one piece of the process for many is that the healing space can sometimes be almost “too private.” Many survivors come to the point where they need something different than a space to heal individually. For numerous reasons most do not want to take legal action, but yet they need some other outlet to express themselves, and what happened to them.
The #MeToo movement has become a place to fill that void. The power of #MeToo is that is takes something that many women have long kept quiet in any public way and has transformed their stories into a unique public movement. Unlike protests, or other social-media campaigns, #MeToo has become a wide spread platform that connects individuals and makes us all feel a little less alone, less ashamed and more empowered. There’s a monumental amount of work to be done in confronting sexual harassment and assault, and #MeToo is an excellent platform to help society as a whole understand the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in our society.