In Year Two of #MeToo, Fears About Sexual Assault Remain

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Publish Date : 11/28/2018 15:42
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Gallup found that nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) say sexual harassment in workplaces is a "major problem", up from 50% in 1998.

“Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free from fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world,” said the Secretary-General. On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with the slogan/theme “HearMeToo”, it is worth to look at “MeToo” movement and some statistics on Sexual harassment in USA briefly.


The Me Too movement, with many local and international alternatives, is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. The original purpose of "Me Too" as used by Tarana Burke in 2006, was to empower women through empathy, especially young and vulnerable women. It declares sexual violence sufferers are not alone and should not be ashamed.


Tarana Burke, a social activist and community organizer, began using the phrase "Me Too" in 2006. On October 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged spreading the hashtag #MeToo, to attempt to draw attention to sexual assault and harassment. Afterwards, the phrase had been used more than 200,000 times by the end of the day, and tweeted more than 500,000 times by October 16. On Facebook, the hashtag was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during the first 24 hours.


In addition to Hollywood, "Me Too" declarations elicited discussion of sexual harassment and abuse in the music industry, sciences, church, academia, sports, military, and politics.
As the movement heads into its second year, however, the percentage of American women who say they "frequently" or "occasionally" worry about being a victim of sexual assault has edged up from last year to 36%, the highest this figure has been since 2011. By contrast, just 4% of men worry this frequently about being a victim of sexual assault, little changed over the years. Among all U.S. adults, 20% of all Americans say they frequently or occasionally worry about being a victim of sexual assault, matching the average Gallup has recorded since it first asked the question in 2000.


Data from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men were the victims of rape at some point in their lifetime. Gallup, by contrast, in a separate question asks Americans only about the past year, and the latest update is that 1% of U.S. adults (including 2% of women and 1% men) say they were sexually assaulted in the past 12 months. The Gallup question does not define sexual assault for respondents.
The recent increased attention paid to sexual assault and harassment, which were front and center in this fall's Supreme Court nomination hearing and massive employee walkout at Google, have touched on an issue that many have concerns about. One in five U.S. adults -- including more than one in three women -- worry about being a victim of sexual assault.
As worries about sexual assault continue, the issue has gained prominence in some areas of Americans' views. Last year, Gallup found that nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) say sexual harassment in workplaces is a "major problem", up from 50% in 1998.


Notably, a much higher percentage of women today (38%) than in 1998 (18%) say recent news events about sexual harassment have made them more likely to sue someone they believe had sexually harassed them. Just 14% of women say recent news events have made them less likely to do so, while 44% say their likelihood hasn't changed.


Americans appear more troubled today than they were two decades ago about sexual harassment in the workplace. Women continue to be more concerned than men about the problem, but the gap is not huge. Perhaps more importantly, majorities of men and women now agree that people are not sensitive enough to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. That realization may be especially important for men, as more women now say they have newfound willingness to file a lawsuit against anyone who has sexually harassed them.

 

 

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“ In Year Two of #MeToo, Fears About Sexual Assault Remain ”