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Special Blog - "ME TOO!"

A Black Woman – Tarana Burke- Created the “Me Too” Campaign against Sexual Assault over 10 Years Ago. She began “Me Too” as a grassroots movement to aid sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities, where rape crisis centers and sexual assault workers weren’t available. Tarana is now a program director at Girls for Gender Equity in Washington, D.C. In the early conversations that spurred the "Me Too" movement, there was a sense it wasn't for women of color.

Last weekend, actress Alissa Milano re-sparked this movement, inspired to do so by a barrage of actresses coming forward to reveal their victimization at the hands of a prominent Hollywood producer. In the first weekend, over 1 and ½ million women have responded to Alissa’s tweet “Me too” and over 16 million women have responded by writing about their experiences on Facebook and other social media platforms

1 out of every 6 American women will experience an attempted or completed sexual assault in her lifetime. Over 321,500 Americans over age 12 are victims of sexual assault or rape each year. Over 60,000 children are victims of substantiated sexual abuse each year, Harassing behavior and actions may be either deliberate /conscious or unintentional. Harassing behavior includes:

  • being shouted at

  • being called names

  • being the subject of ‘jokes’, insults or taunts

  • being sent offensive tweets, texts or emails

  • being excluded from conversations

  • being put down about the way you look, dress or speak

  • being denied certain benefits

  • being overlooked for promotions and/or training

  • being bullied

  • being propositioned.

Harassment is just another word for bullying. There are bullies at work that make the environment difficult for women (and men).

AARP offers a few tips to help if you feel you are being harassed at work:

  • Document the situation

  • Talk to the bully – was it a perception issue?

  • Talk to your boss or Human Resources

  • Tell someone

Sexual harassment is not an easy subject to talk about, but change will come when women ( and men) across the U.S. are willing to share their experiences and stories. If we feel like we are being harassed in the workplace, speak up. We can’t say “that’s just the way they are” or “did I deserve it?” or “It wasn’t so bad.” We must trust our inner voices which tell us that this is wrong.

If you feel discriminated against or harassed - say something.

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