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#MeToo? #HeresWhatToDo

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Like nearly everyone else, we watched in amazement as the #MeToo movement took hold on social media. On Sunday, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women to tweet out #MeToo if they had experienced sexual harassment or assault, a campaign conceived years earlier by activist Tarana Burke. As of this writing, more than 12 million #MeToo posts have been shared on Facebook and the hashtag has been used more than 500,000 times on Twitter.
It is astonishing—and heartening—to see so much attention paid to sexual violence. And because sexual violence is experienced by people of all genders, we were also heartened to see the campaign expanding to include all survivors of sexual violence.

At the same time, #MeToo can also be confusing and complicated. As our Development Director Kristy Cullivan Sierra notes in a personal post about the viral #MeToo movement:

"We seem to have arrived at the point where more people are willing to accept that sexual violence is a major problem in our society. Have we yet reached the point where people—other than survivors—are going to take some responsibility for addressing the problem?"

Survivors don't have a responsibility to participate in #MeToo. While we know for some it can be empowering, the responsibility for raising awareness continues to fall on the shoulders of survivors when deciding to participate in these campaigns. They may feel pressured to do so given how quickly this one has gone viral. (Facebook estimates that nearly 50% of people in the United States are Facebook friends with someone who has shared a #MeToo post.) But raising awareness is a responsibility everyone must share.

Wondering what to do in the face of #MeToo?​

If you’re interested in reading more about my take on the #MeToo movement, you might like this interview with Metro Boston

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Posted by Gina Scaramella

Gina Scaramella
Gina Scaramella, LICSW, provides the vision and strategic leadership to advance BARCC's mission. As executive director since 2003, she works closely with people within and outside of the organization to continually grow and improve it. Gina began at BARCC as a volunteer hotline counselor in 1989 before heading to graduate school. She joined staff in 1995 to coordinate the medical and legal advocacy programs. Gina has grown BARCC’s budget nearly three­fold and developed the infrastructure to ensure BARCC's positive impact for survivors, in our communities, and beyond. Gina has worked nationally as an expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was part of the EMPOWER leadership team, which was tasked with formulating Massachusetts’s approach to preventing sexual violence. She also served as an expert for the federal Defending Childhood Project of the Boston Public Health Commission. Currently she is on the board of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, the project management team of the National Telenursing Center, the advisory board for the Indicators Project of the Vera Center for Justice, and the leadership team of the National Vicarious Trauma Tool Kit project with Northeastern University. Gina holds an LICSW license and earned her master of social work degree from Boston University.

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