The me too Movement™ is focused on young women who have endured sexual abuse, assault or exploitation (S.A.A.E) and was founded to fill what we see as a void. In our informal survey of programs across the United States, few were equipped to deal with young women, of a variety of ages and races, who were victims of molestation, incest, or exploitation. The definition of exploitation, for our purposes, covers a wide variety of situations that often go unaddressed in communities of color. Young women, who are, for example, severally harassed daily in school or made to commit to sexual favors or perform sex acts under duress can be severally traumatized by their situations, and the effects can be just as damaging as being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted. Our work is meant to address the nuances of being, what we call a S.A.A.E survivor.
One of the main goals of The me too Movement™ is to give young women, particularly young women of color from low wealth communities, a sense of empowerment from the understanding that they are not alone in their circumstances. The statistics related to sexual abuse in these communities are staggering. The estimates detailing the number of sexual abuse, assault or exploitation victims who are not reporting the crimes committed against them or seeking help are equally astounding.
We want to turn victims into survivors and survivors into thrivers.
The power of empathy is sorely undervalued. Oftentimes young women who have been violated in any of the aforementioned areas feel shame, isolation and powerlessness. In several cultures, women of color are encouraged to keep situations like these hidden; and in some communities the prevalence is so widespread that the behavior has been normalized. Our position is that young women from low wealth backgrounds run the risk of being left feeling voiceless when they don’t see themselves properly represented by various advocate groups. The me too Movement™ seeks to fill in those gaps remove cultural barriers to resources for help and healing.
Even as traumatic as sexual abuse, assault or exploitation is, sometimes there is nothing as powerful as knowing that you are not alone. The sooner young women understand that they are not an anomaly, the sooner they can begin their healing process. This is at the heart of The me too Movement™. Survivors reaching out to those who don’t understand they are survivors – and helping them to feel whole again. These are simple words; but they have the potential to be so meaningful to so many people. Our vision of empowerment through empathy doesn’t end with survivors simply reaching out and sharing. The program will train volunteer, female survivors to be culturally competent trainers/advocates available to guide young women survivors in their healing process.
We purposely called this program the me too Movement™ to emphasize our mission of building a coalition, an extended network or a family of sorts of women of all ages and walks of life who understand each other, who can empathize with each other and who have a vested interest in the survival and triumph of other women like them.
The connection is made through the previously mentioned methods, but in addition to that, our goal is to create a me too national hotline and website that offers group chats in various cities and states, national call-ins where callers can listen to roundtable discussions, and online operators available to assist callers in a variety of ways.
Always a powerful tool, the me too Movement will provide school systems, teachers, community groups, youth organizations, and the like with an education kit that includes resource materials to help facilitate conversations with young people about sexual assault, abuse or exploitation; a DVD featuring a group of survivors as varied as celebrities and peers talking about their personal situations and their rode to recovery, both in groups and one on one; books with information similar to that provided on the internet that can be distributed to youth. Participants from the DVD will also conduct a nationwide tour of schools and communities that are often not targeted to bring the message of the me too Movement™.
Empowerment through Empathy
It is going to take a lot of resources and collaboration to build this movement. We are always looking for collaborators and partners interested in doing this work. Please let us know if you are interested in joining us as we build and grow the 'me too' Movement! We'd love to connect with you. Click here for to share your information.
If you are interested in donating to the movement click here. We are currently raising funds to create our first educational/promotional film about the movement.