The 5-Year Anniversary of #MeToo

Five years ago, the hashtag #metoo woke up the world. Within days, millions of survivors spoke up — many for the first time. Around the world, all those who rarely gave a thought to sexual harassment and abuse had to start paying attention, and acknowledging how widespread was the harm. The number of calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is operated by RAINN, skyrocketed.

Much of RAINN’s work is powered by a survivor’s courage to come forward, which inspires our commitment is to end sexual violence. RAINN is dedicated to changing the way the nation thinks about, and understands, sexual violence. A core part of our mission is serving survivors; over the past six years, the number of people served by RAINN’s victim service programs has doubled.

The #metoo hashtag, first used by Tarana Burke in 2006 to seek healing for Black women who suffered sexual abuse, came to be a shorthand for every kind of sexual misconduct, abuse and assault. While progress continues to be slow and incremental, surveys show that most Americans believe there's less tolerance for workplace harassment since #MeToo. An NBCUni survey, released on Sept. 29, found 70% of Americans say workplace harassers and abusers are more likely to be held accountable today than in 2017, and that 62% believe accusers are more likely to be believed.

RAINN runs and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline which offers 24/7 free, confidential help, in English and Spanish, to survivors and their loved ones regardless of their background at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org (y en español rainn.org/es).

If you’d like support after learning that someone in your life has experienced sexual violence or if you are a survivor yourself and want to talk, feel free to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org (y en español rainn.org/es). We’re here to help you.

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