Hollywood Says TIME’S UP On Sexual Harassment!

Hollywood Announces the TIME’S UP Initiative as a New All-Inclusive, Anti-Harassment Action Plan for Women When several Hollywood women bravely accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in late 2017, no one knew it was only the beginning of a new movement for gender equality in the entertainment industry and beyond. Since then, an onslaught of accusations against men both in and out of Hollywood has shed light on what is now seen to be a systemic culture of workplace female harassment and abuse. On January 1st, 2018, over 300 powerful Hollywood women announced in the NY Times that they had formed a new anti-harassment initiative called TIME’S UP. This new alliance has put out an action plan designed to help women of all backgrounds fight for workplace equality and justice. The Harsh Reality As the … Read More

A Look at College Campuses and Title IX Reporting

It’s time to shed some light on why the outcome is so bleak for those courageous enough to come forward and report acts of sexual violence. Apart from Hollywood and the recent #MeToo movement, one of the most highly criticized areas when it comes to sexual assault allegations is higher education.    What many people don’t realize is the level of confidentiality surrounding Title IX cases and reports. Most colleges and universities have what are called “mandatory reporters” and “confidential resources”. Confidential resources are those designated by the college to have immunity from filing incident reports, so students typically feel more comfortable going to these people when they are embarrassed, confused, or conflicted about what to do next. The majority of faculty and staff are mandatory reporters, which means they are required to file a … Read More

My #METOO

My Own Journey Through Victimization, Trauma, and Redemption Through My Dog I never thought of myself as a victim of Domestic Violence (D.V.). When I first got involved as a writer with the Pets Empower blog, I did so because I was passionate about the idea of pet fostering. Never in a million years did I think I would find myself identifying with the victims of D.V., or that I would learn more about myself through my research than anything else. The Attack I remember meeting a cute guy late into the evening one night when I was at a party. He was a friend of a friend, so when he asked me to go home with him, it didn’t occur to me that I would be in any danger. We started kissing on the … Read More

Time’s 2017 Person of the Year is “The Silence Breakers”

The Silence Breakers

When Donald Trump tweeted that he turned down Time’s Person of the Year, I thought how powerful would it be if The Person of the Year was women. In 2017 we have seen women from all backgrounds win elections, fight for change in big ways and break the silence surrounding sexual assault and harassment in the United States. While I am always proud to be a woman, 2017 has given me a different sense of pride. 2017 has proven that women are not to be messed with. On December 6th Time released its Person of the Year issue: The Silence Breakers. The Silence Breakers are the women, and some men, who triggered a national movement. The Silence Breakers are women and men who found the courage to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment … Read More

Ramifications of College Campus Sexual Assaults

The Shocking Lack of Consequences for College Campus Sexual Assault Perpetrators in the US On one seemingly normal January night in 2015, a woman on the Stanford campus went to a party. The next thing she would be aware of was waking up on hospital covered in bandages and bruises. This woman was sexually assaulted that night behind a dumpster during the party she was attending. She was unconscious when it happened. What this woman did not know that when she innocently went out that night, was that she was about to become the center of one of the most publicized college sexual assault cases in US history (BuzzFeed News). This woman, known today only as Emily Doe, was assaulted by the now infamous former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Brock Turner, a privileged and popular … Read More

Can We Stop Victim Blaming Already?

Victim Blaming

Every time a discussion starts about the downfall of Hollywood and political elites due to sexual assault and harassment I hear at least one person blame the victim or flat out call them a liar. The most common victim-blaming comment I hear is “Why didn’t they say something years ago when it happened?”. Many assume that just because it wasn’t immediately reported the victim must be lying or making it up for their own benefit. Victim blaming is placing any amount of responsibility or blame, no matter how big or small, for the sexual assault on the victim. Women can be blamed in many ways including being asked what they were wearing at the time, were they drinking or did they fight back. This sends the message that the victim could have avoided the rape. … Read More

Troubling TV: Domestic Violence in HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’

During spring this year, HBO launched a seven-part miniseries called Big Little Lies, based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same title. The show was incredibly popular, earning high-ratings and winning several awards, but this is not simply down to the cast. Refreshingly, Big Little Lies is based around the lives of three female protagonists. The show explores in detail their marriages, friendships, and relationships with their children, all the while hinting that these storylines will lead to the death of a main character. It is clear from the opening episode of Big Little Lies that violence is prevalent in the lives of these characters, and it permeates the plot in three significant ways. The story begins with the arrival of single mom Jane Chapman and her young son, who seek a fresh start in … Read More

The Normalization of Sexual Violence Through Rape Culture

With the rush of sexual assault allegations in the past few years, we hear the term “rape culture” often. But what exactly is rape culture? Rape culture is defined as a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse. We live in a society that normalizes this culture on a daily basis. You probably experience rape culture on a daily basis without even realizing it. Rape culture supports the idea that men hold some sort of power over women. It is perpetuated on social media, on TV and in movies, in the music we listen to and even in the language we choose to use. We see colleges and universities actively try and sweep rape cases under the rug for the sake of their image, TV … Read More

The State of Sexual Harassment and Assault After #metoo

sexual harassment and assault

The Harvey Weinstein allegations have sparked a national conversation about sexual assault and harassment in America. With this conversation has come a whole slew of additional allegations against other Hollywood and Washington elites. While it’s horrifying to think about the utter amount of women and men who have been affected by sexual harassment and assault, we may just be moving in the right direction to effectively create change. In October when these allegations first surfaced, an extremely important movement began- the #metoo campaign. The #metoo campaign may have seemed ineffective to some, but it has given survivors of sexual harassment and assault a public forum to share their experiences. This past week, CNN held a townhall discussing what happens after #metoo. Remove the Shame One of the best ways to enact long lasting, positive change … Read More

Harvey Weinstein and the Silence Around Sexual Assault

Over the last month, the film industry has been staggered by the emergence of eighty-two separate allegations made against bigshot producer Harvey Weinstein.[1] In the initial allegations, several high profile celebrities accused him of rape, sexual assault, and coercion, and these reports seem to have opened the floodgates. Indeed, since the Weinstein scandal began, many other Hollywood giants have been marked as sexual predators in the media, including the former head of Amazon Studios Roy Price, House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey and director James Toback. What is striking about these allegations, aside from the horrific nature of the experiences they recount, is the sheer volume of them. Both men and women across the film, fashion, and music industries are coming forward, finally reporting incidents that took place years ago, sometimes decades. This epidemic has … Read More