In America someone is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. Have you ever realized that celebrities, these glamorous, desirable human beings living these “perfect” lives, are survivors of sexual crimes too?
In 1997 Ashely Judd began hitting the big screens. She was invited to a Beverly Hills hotel to meet with Miramax’s head of studio Harvey Weinstein. It was then that she found herself escaping a sex crime that, years later, would make headlines nationwide.
Although she told her story in 1997, it was 21 years before Judd was finally heard. At that time, over 30 women spoke out against Weinstein and his abusive behavior. The hashtag #MeToo became one of the most used Twitter hashtags with over 1.7 million tweets this past year, according to CBS News. Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Cara Delevigne are some of the women who have recently spoken out.
The hashtag began a domino effect for other survivors to come forward alongside the stars. People of all ages, races, sexualities, and genders began speaking out against their abusers. They felt like they finally had a voice.
Statistics show that only 6 of every 1,000 perpetrators of sex crimes end up in prison. Most victims of these crimes are too afraid or too embarrassed to come out and tell their stories. Many aren’t even believed. #MeToo became the voice and community of support that survivors lacked. Celebrities using the hashtag wanted to decrease sex crimes and the negative effects survivors often experience due to those crimes by providing a place where survivors could be heard.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a common mental illness seen in sexual assault victims. Some studies show that 94 out of 100 women show signs of PTSD 2 weeks after their assault. Of all PTSD-related suicides, 31% are rape victims. The Department of Veterans Affairs states that 1 in 3 rape victims will contemplate suicide, while 1 in 10 will commit suicide.
At the 2018 Grammys singer/songwriter Kesha was joined on stage by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, and the Resistance Revival Chorus to perform her hit song “Praying” in honor of #MeToo. This performance brought the crowd to tears. Watch the memorable moment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buM8OErfvu0
If you or someone you love has been affected by a sexual assault crime, please reach out. Help is available.