A year after #MeToo, taking the pulse of sexual violence prevention

What a difference a year makes,” or so goes the old adage.

It’s been one full year since the New York Times broke the story about Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment abuses. One year later, The Cut published “Our Year of Reckoning: An Exhaustive Timeline,” detailing the day-to-day developments over the past 365 days related to how the world has sought long-overdue accountability for decades of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. The Silence Breakers made room for so many more to come forward and continue driving social change. We’re finally seeing a true public reckoning with the societal attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that must change for sexual violence to be eradicated once and for all.

Another old adage: “What gets measured, gets done.” That’s why over the last three years, since our founding, RALIANCE has been tracking and benchmarking what’s been unfolding related to our shared mission to end sexual violence in one generation. Last year’s report foreshadowed just how powerful social media and other forms of activism could be, helping survivors of sexual violence find their agency and their voice. When we released that report in late September 2017, we had no idea how powerful the collective voice would be for the thousands who said #MeToo in the following days and weeks.

As RALIANCE is poised to release our 2018 report, we continue our focus on several key themes:

Accountability: For the first time, many who used their positions of power to cause harm faced actual repercussions. This also forced many of us to think beyond criminal justice solutions and engage corporations and institutions to lean into their values to examine accountability as part of healthy workplace cultures.

Prevention is possible: #MeToo has brought basic principles of prevention into living rooms and lunch rooms, into our homes, workplaces, and streets. We can build a culture that promotes equity, consent, and safety for all.

Leaders are needed: To end sexual violence, we need more people to come forward in their own communities to show courage. We must continue to be bold in 2018 and beyond. And we must continue to invest resources and commit to change to build safer, healthier environments.

Be on the lookout for our annual report, “Ending Sexual Violence in One Generation: A Progress Report for the United States 2018,” publishing soon!

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