The next steps for the #MeToo movement

Over the past year and a half, the #MeToo movement, with decades of anti-rape activism behind it, has elevated the public consciousness around sexual assault. Society’s most elite, powerful men in Hollywood, in business and in politics, are being called to account for their actions. Never before has sexual violence been discussed on such an expansive platform. Still, this reckoning has been relegated to the most prestigious, leaving the plight of everyday Americans and especially those most marginalized, out of the conversation. With the grassroots organizing around the 2020 presidential election looming, there is an opportunity to hold national and local leaders responsible for supporting those impacted by sexual violence. To do so, advocates need to connect the dots for political leaders: sexual violence is not a single issue, it is all encompassing. With the issue of economic inequality, for example, those who make low wages, have little benefits and live paycheck to paycheck, are the most vulnerable to abuse by their bosses, coworkers, or even landlords. Their lack of economic power means they are more likely to stay in a workplace where they are sexually harassed or abused — in order to survive . Complicating this power imbalance further is immigration status, which can cause many to stay silent in fear of deportation. In looking closer at immigration, sexual abuse at the border extends well beyond violence amongst migrants and the people hired to bring them to the United States; there have been documented cases of sexual assault […]

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