It’s never too late to speak out

OpEd writer Tara Sottile Photo credit: Daniel Williams

Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted sex offender.

Three years after the first public complaint, Weinstein has finally been found guilty. This conviction indicates speaking up against high-profile people can lead to justice.

In 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker broke the story. More than 37 different women came forward to say Weinstein had sexually assaulted, raped, and abused them over the span of thirty years.

Embed from Getty Images

Many people across the world were triggered by the news and started to come forward to talk about high-profile men who had violated them.

This reinvented the #MeToo movement, which was created in 2006, giving women a public platform to not only talk about their experiences on social media but to be counted.

October 15, 2017 was the first time #MeToo was tweeted, and it was used more than 200,000 times by the end of the day.

By the end of October 16, it was tweeted more than 500,000 times. This shows the impact social media has when it comes to these types of issues.

According to the Reuters, the hashtag peaked again with the Weinstein trial, starting in early January with 274,000 mentions across social media and news sites throughout the month.

Thanks to the #MeToo movement, women started to tell their stories on social media which caused people to see just how widespread sexual assault is and how often people don’t talk about the issue.

It is a well-known fact women do not want to speak up because of the justice system, especially in America. But when cases like the Weinstein arise and people are able to see that speaking up leads to justice, more people will be willing to talk about their experiences.

Women deserve to be believed when it comes to sexual assault and the stigma around it.

Weinstein is known for his big budget movies in Hollywood and owning The Weinstein Company and because of that people believed he would get away with what he was doing.

But since he’s now officially a convicted sex offender, this has paved the way for women to stand up for themselves and know that if a high-profile Hollywood producer can get convicted, anyone can.

Bill Cosby went from being called ‘America’s Dad’ to being a convicted sex offender serving time in jail. This case started in 2005 but was later settled in a civil court case. More women started to come forward about Cosby and his past, which lead to the trial and conviction of Cosby.

The trial was the first high-profile celebrity trial in the #MeToo movement.

After generations of being told that keeping quiet about sexual assault is the only way to deal with it, these trials are giving women something to talk about.

In 2018, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford took a large step in the fight against sexual assault. She came forward and took a stand against Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh accusing him of assaulting her when they were in high school.

This case went to trial and because of that, Blasey Ford created a road for women to tell their stories. The trial was everywhere and everyone was watching. People started to understand that taking a stance gives power to others who aren’t ready to do the same.

As more people start to come forward to tell their stories and public figures start to get convicted, women have more reasons to stand up and tell their stories.

Coming out about sexual assault is never easy but because of high-profile cases and high-profile people getting convicted, speaking up is waking up.

The more people who are willing to tell their stories, the more justice can be served.