Thousands of women around the world who have been sexually harassed or assaulted are using the hashtag #metoo on social media to highlight the extent of the problem.
In the wake of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein that he sexually harassed or assaulted women, Twitter and Facebook have ignited with personal stories of abuse.
It started Sunday with American actress Alyssa Milano calling on Twitter users to write “me too” if they have ever been sexually assaulted or harassed to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Women and men quickly responded on Twitter and Facebook.
One Twitter user wrote: “Me too. Harassed at work at multiple companies, stalked, assaulted. ….almost all of my friends have similar stories. We need to speak up.”
Another posted: “#MeToo. By different men at different times. Experiences make you question your worth & affect you for the rest of your life. Never same.”
On Facebook, users across the globe updated their status to simply “Me Too.”
Men have been also been posting their support.
Will Goodman, a 37-year-old journalist in New York wrote on his Facebook status, “I’m at a loss for words and literally crying as I see ‘Me, too’ stream on my NewsFeed.”
“I have always known that it is more widespread than acknowledged and to have these stark visual moments on social media is horrifying and heartbreaking,” Goodman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
Weinstein’s accusers include the actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who told The New York Times she was sexually harassed by Weinstein more than 20 years ago, and actress and director Angelina Jolie, who told the publication that she “had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth and as a result chose never to work with him again.”
The 65-year-old movie producer has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.
India’s capital New Delhi and Brazil’s Sao Paulo were paired as the world’s worst megacities for sexual violence against women in a poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Monday.