End Rape on Campus (EROC) is proud to both support survivors and uplift the work of Black woman activist and creator of the #MeToo hashtag and movement, Tarana Burke. The “Me Too Movement” began nearly ten years ago to empower survivors through empathy and storytelling. As we join in witness of the #MeToo hashtag this week, EROC honors the origins of the movement and emphasizes the #MeToo movement mission: “to let [survivors], particularly young women of color know that they are not alone.”
These past few weeks, we have seen how sexual violence and harassment are common forms of oppression in multiple areas of life. There is more punishment for coming forward as a survivor than there is for assaulting another human being, which makes acknowledging “Me Too” all the more meaningful.
We also understand that the most marginalized people in society – women of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities – are more likely to be targeted by sexual violence, but less likely to be represented in the media.
EROC stands in solidarity with individuals who have shared their stories of “Me Too,” on social media publicly and with friends privately, while we simultaneously honor the stories of so many others who have not or cannot share their experiences. We recognize that many may be triggered by reading their timelines and reflecting on personal experiences of harassment and violence. To those individuals, know that you are not alone.
We know that the watershed storytelling of the past few weeks cannot simply be something for allies to “like” on Facebook, and forget about in a few weeks. It is a mandate and a calling to honor the tireless work of advocates like Tarana Burke, and also to support organizations like EROC, Know Your IX, SurvJustice, PAVE, and other survivor-led groups. Now is the moment for allies and society at large to follow the lead of survivors, and those who advocate for them.
As Tarana stated at the 2014 March Against Rape Culture in Philadelphia, “Healing is radical, and #MeToo is a movement to radicalize the notion of mass healing.” In the spirit of mass healing and strength building in the midst of egregious attacks on the rights of campus survivors of sexual violence, on Thursday, members of survivor-led groups hosting vigils all around the country, and a national vigil in Washington, DC.
To learn more about hosting an event in your area, please visit our National Vigil for Campus Sexual Assault Survivors page. In addition to the MeToo movement and hashtag, EROC invites survivors to share their personal narratives as means of empowerment on our Centering the Margins Initiative blog and access its culturally competent resources as avenues of healing.
We are with you. You are not alone. Us, Too.