Let’s talk about sexual assault! That isn’t a question you hear many people ask randomly, but Why not?. Why don’t we talk about it?
Many people use different hashtags and statuses to let their opinions be known and to start movements. It has increased the way of communication, not only to the upcoming generation but to the world. So why aren’t more people talking about sexual assault? Why aren’t the victims of it coming forward instead of dealing with it alone? That’s what the MeToo movement is trying to figure out too.
Now, What is the #MeToo movement?
This liberating movement originally started over ten years ago by an activist from Harlem, New York named Tarana Burke. She created this movement in order to support underprivileged women of color who were affected by sexual abuse. In the past year, women all over the world have been going viral by using the hashtags #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReportIt.
When the hashtag first went viral over a half a million people wrote #MeToo on Twitter, which is a social media platform, to acknowledge that they’ve been a victim to sexual assault or expressing their concern for this topic to be spoken about. It has caught the attention of celebrities such as America Ferrera, Lady Gaga, and many more.
The creator of the movement, Tarana Burke, once had an interview with CNN stating her reasoning for the movement. Tarana Burke said in her CNN interview “It’s not about a viral campaign for me. It’s about a movement,” “On one side, it’s a bold declarative statement that ‘I’m not ashamed’ and ‘I’m not alone.’ On the other side, it’s a statement from survivor to survivor that says ‘I see you, I hear you, I understand you and I’m here for you or I get it.” This is exactly why we need to talk about these issues. Millions of people feel alone in this matter and we all need to unite as human beings and show compassion to one another. Since the Movement took off there have been many high profile cases of sexual assault that came to light, such as The Bill Cosby Case.
Bill Cosby was once viewed as “America’s Dad”; he was a father figure to millions of people across the nation and especially in Black communities. The Bill Cosby case started with information dating all the way back to 2004 concerning his mentee, Ms. Constand, who at the time was a Temple University employee which is Bill Cosby’s alma mater. She accused Bill Cosby of drugging her and then raping her after refusing his sexual advances previously. There case finished with a settlement.
In 2014, comedian Hannibal Buress spoke about Bill Cosby being a rapist in his comedy skit and that inspired more than 50 other women who also have accused Mr. Cosby of sexual misconduct to rise up and let their voices be heard.
On Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 Justice was served. According to CNN, Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in a state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 14 years ago. His lawyers attempted to gain bail, but that was denied and he was led out of the courthouse in handcuffs.
Judge Steven O’Neill Speaks
The Judge on the case was Judge Steven O’Neill. He commented that “This was a serious crime.” He also said: “Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come, the time has come.”
Due to this news, Bill Cosby, at the age of 81 lost majority of his fortune, the support from the communities, his honorary doctorate degrees, and certain television programs took his most famous shows such as “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World” off the air.
Many students including myself at Delaware State University were shocked being that we all grew up on Bill Cosby. His show “A Different World” was based on college campuses just like Delaware State University.
In responding to the question: “How do you feel about the results of the Bill Cosby case and how does this impact your ability to do your job?” Ms. Alayzia Williams, who is a Resident Assistant on campus after taking a long pause said: “I did not follow the case that much and I did not know what he did, I just saw things on social media accusing him of what he did. I personally don’t view him another way because I didn’t personally know him and it doesn’t pertain to me. It affects my job though because there are people in this world like Bill Cosby who are superior to us on different levels. His case only proves to me that we need to promote integrity and honesty in this residence hall and throughout the entire campus. Issues such as Sexual Assault and Drug Abuse does happen on this campus and in this world whether we like it or not we simply just need to take this as an important lesson.”
This is a battle that has been won for the #MeToo Movement, but sadly, there are many more women and men who deserve justice. The war is not over, it has just begun.