#MeToo, One Year Later
One year ago this week, the New York Times first ran its bombshell report on Harvey Weinstein. In the fallout of that article, the #MeToo movement re-emerged. Started by the activist Tarana Burke and led by brave survivors who wished to share their experience –in many cases, for the first time – with the world, the #MeToo movement has spread from Hollywood to cities large and small across the nation. While the full effects of the movement will be thought about, written on, and studied in classrooms for years to come, it’s hard to underestimate those effects today.
In the past year we’ve seen thousands of people come forward with their stories of abuse, whether at the hands of a parent, a boyfriend, a priest or a coach. We’ve also seen action in response to these stories. Powerful men have been stripped of their positions and titles and institutions have been held accountable both in the court of public opinion and the court of law.
We at SNAP are grateful to every single person who, over the past year, has found the courage to step forward and speak out. Your courage has made America safer. We're especially grateful to those individuals who are now joining us in pushing for legislative reforms, especially the drive to repeal and relax the archaic and arbitrary statutes of limitations. These laws often do little more than deny victims their day in court and allow wrongdoing to go unpunished and uncovered. Legislation to do this is moving ahead in New York Pennsylvania and several other states.
The momentum from the #MeToo movement has also helped our push for statewide investigations by attorneys general in every state. Following the Pennsylvania grand jury report, thirteen total states have begun investigations into dioceses in their borders. We are hopeful that the remaining 37 states will soon follow. We know that the public pressure from survivors and allies has been critical in pushing elected officials to act and are grateful to all those who shared their experiences in hope of making a change. Progress is slow, but we believe that change is happening right now.
Last weekend, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Zoe Greenberg noting what has changed thanks in large part to the MeToo movement. It's worth reading. We should all take time to remind ourselves of the progress that's being made, no matter how long overdue, hard won or imperfect.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.