Shout It Out If True For You!

#MeToo is Raising Awareness for Sexual Assault

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Shout It Out If True For You!

Gracie Nowlan, Staff Writer/All-Star

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#MeToo is the popular hashtag behind the rapidly spreading movement against sexual assault and harassment. To put it simply, this form of protest originally, “spread virally as a two-word hashtag used on social media in October 2017 to denounce sexual assault.” Celebrities, citizens, and communities as a whole have taken this hashtag by storm.

 

A Pueblo artist and the Denver Police Department have used the movement as a platform to spread awareness for sexual assault. An unknown Pueblo artist has taken the “Kindness Rocks Project” and turned it into a protest by writing,  “If true for you, shout it out — #metoo,” or even just “#metoo” on rocks and placing them around Colorado, people are using the rocks as a form of silent protest against sexual assault and harassment of both men and women. This popular hashtag used for numerous other events is truly making a mark on the community in more ways than one.

 

The anonymous Pueblo artist says that they envision in their “artist imagination” that,  “somebody looks at it, and it is true for them, and they say it out loud — because it says ‘shout it out’ — they shout ‘hashtag me, too!… That’s my idea of a participation art piece.” The Pueblo artist hopes for people to continue to participate in this movement and as they see this rock, “out there that says this is a public forum,” they will,  shout it out, talk to the person next to them or, acknowledge it.. for the first time ever” for themselves.

 

Not only are the artists in the community being inspired by the #MeToo movement but the Denver Police Department is also becoming more involved. They are and have been providing free women’s self-defense classes since 2010. Thinking that they could do even more due to the recent surge and popularity of the #MeToo movement they have not only made the classes longer but have also made them more frequent and robust. The classes are now being held monthly at select locations to aid in the spread of awareness of sexual assault and harassment and to show people that there are different ways protect yourself.

 

#MeToo has empowered a myriad of people and has helped to bring awareness to others. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), “every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) in the United States, and one out of every six American women is a victim.” But, programs such as the one hosted by the Denver Police Department have helped these numbers go down seeing as, “an organization called No Means No Worldwide (NMNW) began to require boys to attend “consent classes” on how to respect females, while girls were taught self-defense. And the results were astounding. Cases of violence toward women lowered by 50 percent.” These classes are no joke and with the communities help, sexual assault and harassment (although still a tremendous issue),  is becoming less prevalent than once before.

 

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