KENT, Ohio — One year ago today, two simple words changed the national dialogue and started a global movement against sexual violence and sexual harassment toward women.
Some students at Kent State University Monday remembered exactly how they felt the first time they heard, and saw the words #MeToo.
“I’ve always strongly supported it since day one,” said Madeline McBride, KSU student. “It just means a lot to me.”
“So inspiring to see women come out and speak their minds and not hide anymore,” said Ava Pernotto, KSU student.
The #MeToo movement began when actress Alyssa Milano retweeted survivor Tarana Burke’s abuse story and then shared her own ordeal. Then on Monday, Milano tweeted a video, and said, “One year ago I recorded this for my daughter, explaining why I shared my story of sexual assault. I never expected to release it publicly. Now, I feel it’s too important not to share.”
One year ago I recorded this for my daughter, explaining why I shared my story of sexual assault. I never expected to release it publicly. Now, I feel it’s too important not to share. #MeToo
I love you so. I will fight so you don’t have to.
Love, mama pic.twitter.com/TYk5XXFksY
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2018
Countless survivors have also tweeted #MeToo exposing the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women.
Even women who haven’t been brutalized have experienced some level of mistreatment and live in fear that it could happen, says Madeline, “It’s terrifying, yeah, extremely overwhelming, actually.”
However, Madeline and her friends believe the #MeToo movement has already started to bring about positive change.
Recently, a KSU fraternity risked getting into trouble by hanging an extra large banner, that went against guidelines to take a stand against sexual assault.
And on Monday as “Sex Week” kicked off on campus, a week dedicated to sex education and understanding, students weren’t just focusing on “safe sex,” but also keeping people safe.
They say the #MeToo movement has done a lot to give victims a voice, but there is more work to do.
“I feel like this entire movement — the more we keep going the stronger it gets — it definitely will have a bigger impact,” said Madeline.