Veterans Engage in Their Own #metoo Protest
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This past fall, women across the globe shared their intimate struggle with sexual assault by writing #metoo on various social media platforms to highlight the issue and confirm that they are not alone in this struggle.

In the following winter, another hashtag swept across social media platforms. Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes the night before the hashtag came about had compelled this hashtag to social media. In particular when Winfrey said, "They're the women whose names we'll never know. They are domestic workers. And farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they're in academia, and engineering and medicine and science. They're part of the world of tech and politics and business. They're our athletes in the Olympics, and they're our soldiers in the military.”

#MeTooMilitary has come to be used by service men and women who were sexually assaulted or harassed while in the military. A report from the Pentagon indicated that 15,000 members of the military reported being sexually assaulted in the year 2016, and only 1 out of 3 people assaulted actually made a report, indicating as many as 45,000 assaults occurred. These social media movements prompted real conversation among both genders that have helped unify women.

Nichole Bowen-Crawford is a woman who understands why the hashtag made it’s way on to the internet, but believes that  it may have not be the wisest of options. She, along others as part of the Service Women's Action Network, or SWAN, travelled to Washington for the #MeTooMilitary Stand Down protest outside the Pentagon. You see, Bowen-Crawford states, that when victims are victimized, especially in the military, it often is something of a secret for fear of it being a block to moving up in their career. As unacceptable as this is, it is not an uncommon factor in veterans’ stories. “You know, these are the people who serve our country and risk their lives every day.” And it’s important to honor and respect them and their wishes.

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