2018 is here and it’s time to act
As revelations of sexual harassment, assault and abuse darkened the headlines for the latter part of 2017, a movement was reignited. Initially sparked by Tarana Burke ten years ago, the #MeToo movement encapsulated the world of social media and beyond, with survivors coming forward to share their personal experiences of sexual misconduct by the millions. Every industry was blown open as such revelations and accusations poured out, from Westminster to Hollywood, journalism to hospitality. TIME magazine named the Silence Breakers as their person of the year. The conversation started. 2017 was a landmark year.
As we enter the new year, this social shift shows no sign of ceasing. #MeToo continues to hold strong, whilst other movements are opening up and exposing the true, real potential of us as a society to put an end to sexual violence.
#TIMESUP, launched on the 1st January 2018, has seen in excess of 300 Hollywood stars (actors, directors, writers, producers, musicians…) come forward and pledge their support to end harassment, abuse and discrimination. More than just a social media campaign dressed up with a red carpet shimmer, #TIMESUP aims to reach the women whose names won’t make the front pages. Farmers, waitresses, factory workers. Teachers, doctors, shop assistants. Air hostesses, cleaners, technicians.
— UK SAYS NO MORE (@UKSAYSNOMORE) January 8, 2018
And, as 2018 must be the year of action, #TIMESUP is following suit by setting up a Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidised legal support to all those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault and abuse at work. We may be little over a week into the new year, but change is happening.
This is a movement for women across all industries, all cultures, all geographical locations. This is a movement for women everywhere.
Just before Christmas, we took to the streets of London to ask the public what little things we can do in 2018 to help end domestic violence and sexual assault. And, as one of those we interviewed stated, little changes to our daily behaviour can make a stark difference.
Watch the full video here:
Illuminating the #TIMESUP campaign and offering a mark of solidarity with survivors, both those who have come forward and those who have chosen to remain silent, celebrities attending the Golden Globes this past Sunday (7th January 2018) wore all black. A simple offering, many may say, but a symbol of togetherness is vital as we continue to tackle sexual misconduct.
Harassment, abuse and discrimination was on the minds of all in attendance, with Natalie Portman calling out the lack of diversity as she announced the nominees for ‘Best Director’, before Oprah Winfrey took to the stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award – becoming the first black female to do so.
During her incredibly emotive and endlessly inspiring acceptance speech, she addressed sexual harassment in Hollywood, as well as it’s existence in every other context, noting how it ““transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace”.
She continued, telling the horrific tale of Recy Taylor, a black woman who was abducted and raped by six men in 1944. Despite Recy Taylor identifying those responsible and enduring two grueling trials, none of the men were ever found guilty, and the all-white-male jury let them free. She passed away just ten days ago, aged 97.
Oprah spoke of the #TIMESUP movement, reiterating that the time is up for powerful individuals who use their status to abuse, harass and assault.
And, in conclusion, she offered the following motivation for us all to do better in 2018:
“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “me too” again.”
Here’s to the new year.
You can support UK SAYS NO MORE by:
- Pledging to learn more and take a stand by challenging derogatory language or the perpetuation of myths through learning and sharing of this knowledge.
- Adding your photo to the Gallery and purchasing your NO MORE pin, joining others nationwide saying “NO MORE” to domestic violence and sexual assault.
- Sharing the campaign materials on social media and with friends, family and colleagues, to start a conversation around these issues.