By Hannah Manandhar, reporter
PPCC has joined the the current ‘#MeToo’ movement by showing support on social media pages and through the ROC (Respect on Campus) office, which serves students who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or abused, either on campus or in their personal lives.
ROC estimates that “One in four college women nationwide report surviving rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime.”
Former PPCC student, writer, photographer and current TEDXCOS speaker, Angela Giles Klocke, speaks out locally against sexual violence.
In response to the #MeToo movement, Klocke, a sexual abuse survivor, said, “I love the #MeToo movement. I believe any time we can have even the smallest conversation about any of these hard topics – sexual assault, violence, abuse – it is a win.”
Klocke also said she was happy that present awareness was spreading the message of hope to survivors. “They really need to know that they’re not alone. And everyone else really needs to know this all happens — and it happens to way too many people, women and men alike.”
Tylar Lingar, Political Science major at PPCC, also feels that the #MeToo movement empowers women, especially college students, by letting others know the stark reality of abuse.
She said, “women feel like they cannot speak out about it. I think it will raise awareness of how many women have been sexually assaulted.”
On October 15, actress Alyssa Milano spoke out against her alleged sexual harassment from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Using Twitter, Milano encouraged those who had been sexually assaulted or harassed to reply to her tweet with the phrase #MeToo.
The #MeToo movement, originally credited to Tarana Burke back in 1997, generated from hearing a 13-year-old girl’s story of sexual abuse.
Burke’s company Just Be Inc. gives help and healing to those that had been sexually abused or harassed.
Klocke said, “I appreciate the courage that those who spoke out have, because they help give voice to those who cannot yet speak out. They speak for those still living in pain or shame or hiding secrets because they’re afraid of more pain if they tell.”
Lingar, though, shared her hesitations about the movement. “What makes change is doing something in person, not sitting behind a computer,” she said.
Klocke understands that point of view, but disagrees. “I know social media activism is often frowned upon because many people will never act further than sharing something online, but I also believe every chance we get to have these hard conversations should be taken advantage of. We [must] remember that when we hope to reach just one person, we have to mean it. If sharing #Me Too helps one person step into the light and share his or her own story too, that is a win.”
What’s clear with the success of #MeToo worldwide, is that those who have felt like they cannot speak out are joining others who have gone through similar experiences.
Respect on Campus (ROC) serves to prevent relationship violence and help with sexual abuse awareness. Find them here.