Two-thirds of rape victims are minors: Definitely more ‘Me Too’ needs to rise up
Ever since a New York Times report on Harvey Weinstein forcing himself onto debutante actresses surfaced online, the number of women accusing Weinstein of gross sexual malfeasance, and worse, has steadily increased. The film mogul, has pretty obviously, denied these allegations against him. After losing his job and his wife, Harvey Weinstein was even stripped of his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from Academy. We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What's at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify," said their official statement.
On Sunday, social media was bombarded with posts, especially from women, who used only two words – ‘Me Too’. The idea was to reveal that they have also been sexually assaulted or harassed, and to let your friends and families understand, the magnitude of the problem. The trend kicked off after actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter and posted a note while writing, "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet." Since then, millions of women (and men) have come out with harrowing tales of sexual assault and harassments. Milano’s original tweet received over 58,000 comments and 21,000 retweets.
Last week women on Twitter, started a global protest by using the #WomenBoycottTwitter and urged users to boycott Twitter for a day. The boycott of the platform started on Friday, 13 October for 24 hours. This was after the microblogging site partially suspended Rose McGowan's Twitter account because of her repeated tweets against Harvey Weinstein and Ben Affleck. The microblogging site has often been criticised before for its inability to tackle similar incidents.
In India, the hashtag has been trending on Twitter and Facebook for a few days. Apart from the commoners, prominent personalities from the entertainment industry also chose to break pierce the silence. Comedian Mallika Dua on her Facebook post shared how she was sexually harassed at the age of seven in a car. “Me too… in my own car. My mother was driving while he sat at the back with his hand under my skirt the whole time. I was 7. My sister was 11. His hands went everywhere inside my skirt and on my sister’s back. My father who was in a different car dislocated the bastard’s jaw with his bare hands later that night,” she wrote.
In the last four years, nearly 7,000 victims of rape and sexual abuse have sought compensation under the state government’s Manodhairya scheme which is supposed to provide financial, medical and legal support to the rape survivors. Unfortunately, two-thirds of these victims happen to be below 18 years of age. The data with the state Women and Child Development department shows that a total of 4,491 minor rape victims had sought help from the government under this scheme which was launched in October 2013.The scale and magnitude of the sexual offense are so huge, that it’s nearly impossible to quantify with any such data. Hence, more ‘Me Too’ needs to rise up, so that one day the muffled weeping turns into a roar.