Over a decade ago Tarana Burke began a powerful social justice movement. Burke, an activist for survivors, coined the phrase “Me too,” as one that could provide empowerment and solidarity, particularly for female sexual assault survivors of color. The resurgence of “Me Too” grew after sexual assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein, other men in Hollywood and political offices.  #MeToo has transformed into an influential hashtag and has shaped the conversations regarding the prevalence of sexual assault. #MeToo was used over 1.7 million times within the first two weeks of the hashtag appearing. There is raw power in stating #MeToo. There is bravery. We all know that sexual violence exists, but when we see the prevalence among numerous individuals telling their stories, the reality hits home.

Sexual assault is a pervasive issue. According to RAINN, (Rape and Incest National Network), a sexual assault occurs every 98 seconds in the United States. Females experience sexual assault at alarmingly high rates - 1 in 3 women will experience a form of sexual violence.  #MeToo includes survivors of all backgrounds - 1 in 6 males have experienced sexual abuse as children. Transgender and LGBTQ individuals are also at a high risk for sexual assault.

Sexual violence is not a new issue. The way in which we speak about sexual violence, however, is. Increasingly, sexual violence is being openly talked about and the media is reporting on ways to decrease victim blaming and be an active bystander.

#MeToo sheds light on the people affected by sexual assaults. Our community needs to show solidarity and support for all survivors who have said #MeToo and to all survivors who aren’t ready to disclose. Sexual violence in all forms, including sexual harassment, is a significant and unacceptable issue. It’s an issue that our community should not be silent about. It’s critical to believe survivors when they tell their story, because these stories deeply affect their lives.

Hope Project encourages you to think about how you can address the issue of sexual violence. How can you be supportive of survivors? If you are a survivor, how can you practice self-care in the wake of possibly triggering news stories? If we have been conditioned to treat sexual harassment as “normal,” how can we unlearn that toxicity?


If #MeToo rings true to you, Hope Project can provide support. Hope Project empowers individuals and their families who have been affected by sexual violence. Reach out for support by calling 360-703-3762.


Want to learn more about how you can address the issue of sexual violence?


Hope Project provides free education to schools, businesses, churches and other organizations on how to prevent sexual violence. Email staceys@esshelter.com for more information.


“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” - Audrey Lorde


Hope Project’s Self-Care Playlist

There is power in music, and Hope Project wants survivors and their loved ones to practice self-care in whatever positive ways work best for you. For some, self-care involves listening to music that evokes empowerment. Here are the top five songs for December that we hope will bring you some peace.

My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit
You’re It by Wookiefoot
Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Made by Dub FX
Make it Better by Satsung

Have a suggestion of an empowering song you want to share with survivors? Email your suggestion to staceys@esshelter.com!