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Empowering and overwhelming: Impact of #metoo beyond social media

Posted at 5:57 PM, Nov 29, 2017

The conversation surrounding sexual misconduct is showing no signs of slowing down. It's a frightening and disturbing statement about the times we live in.

Famous figures have been fired and are facing scrutiny. Women in all industries, including hundreds in national security are speaking out. And even an act was introduced in congress. The #metoo movement has grown far beyond a hashtag.

Karmen Carter is CEO of The Blue Bench, a non-profit that works to put an end to sexual assault through prevention and care.

"Well we definitely have seen an increase for needs of services," Carter says. "People are seeing that people are being believed and that hasn't always been the case."

It's encouraging and empowering for many, but not all.

"For a lot of people even though there's so many people standing up and speaking out right now there are still so many people who don't feel comfortable sharing their experience," Carter says.

The constant conversation can be triggering, and overwhelming.

"The impact is every day is just this little bit of grinding inside of what they experienced that they may or may not have dealt with yet," Carter says.

And although we've seen swift action with high-profile people, there's concern that hasn't translated to everyday life.

"If someone is making minimum wage at McDonalds and they speak out is their job secure?" Carter asks. "I don't know. I don't know that this phenomenon has stretched as far as it needs to."  

So what will it take? Carter says victims need to be believed and know someone held accountable. And others have to speak up when they see people mistreated.

"As more and more people speak out and as more and more people support the people that speak out that can begin to change that culture," Carter says.