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Actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter Sunday evening to start a conversation showing the magnitude of sexual assault.
She tweeted “Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
More than 34,000 people have replied to the tweet, many sharing stories of sexual assault and survival, including Lady Gaga and Monica Lewinsky.
Some pointed out that for all the women posting “me too,” there are still thousands who likely would not post for many reasons.
A third of women between 18 and 34 report being sexually harassed at work, according to a Cosmopolitan survey of more than 2,000 women in 2015. Stop Street Harassment commissioned a study of 2,000 people in 2014 that found 65 percent report experiencing street harassment, such as being sexually touched or followed. Among men, 25 percent reported experiencing street harassment, with a disproportionate number of those being men who identified as LGBT.
About one in five women say they were raped at some point in their lifetime, according to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, experts caution that many official stats on sexual assault and harassment are inaccurate, mostly due to victims not wanting to report an attack or not understanding what constitutes assault or harassment. The conversation around “me too” highlighted that issue.
Milano recently penned an essay in response to Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults, including statements by her “Charmed” costar Rose McGowan that Weinstein raped her.
Milano said she’s “sickened and angered” by Weinstein’s alleged “sexual predation and abuse of power,“ but is glad recent accusations have “opened up a dialogue around the continued sexual harassment, objectification and degradation of women.”