To Those Who Seek a Better World in the #MeToo Era,
One year ago, the world changed forever.
For the first time in history, the ground shook with the mass disclosures of millions of individuals who revealed the sexual violence perpetrated against them by family members, bosses, co-workers, classmates, coaches, priests, strangers and others.
Empowered by visionary Tarana Burke’s ‘me too.’ Movement and responding to Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo call on social media, millions of survivors around the globe boldly shared their truths. We collectively mobilized to seek justice, care, and support for survivors, and began to articulate our dreams of a safer future for everyone.
This powerful support and storytelling have begun to change the way that survivors are heard and believed. It has created space for a once taboo issue to become one of the most widely discussed topics of all time.
As a result, many gains have been made in the past year, from accountability for individual perpetrators and enablers that seemed impossible only a year ago, to important state and local policy victories.
Even so, as we are reminded by Brett Kavanaugh’s recent confirmation without a full and fair reckoning with the sexual violence allegations against him, much more work remains.
Our progress is not easy or uncontested; and while the measures and moments of accountability we have achieved are necessary, we recognize that they are not enough to create the lasting change we need and deserve.
As many reel from what we have heard and witnessed, we are also emboldened to continue the fight, by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, by Professor Anita Hill before her, and by the many others who have sacrificed by offering up their stories of trauma but have not received justice. We are forever grateful to the survivors who have shared their truths for the public good, so that we may secure a different future for our children. Your voices are the engine for change that we are recommitting to making.
With clear understanding that survivors of sexual violence and allies are central to building the ongoing solutions that this moment demands, a new ‘me too.’ Movement platform (www.metooMVMT.org) now will provide healing resources for individuals, connect those who are committed to interrupting sexual violence, and provide tools for tackling this work from the community level up.
These resources are necessary, because we must challenge ourselves, our communities, our workplaces, our schools, our institutions and our governments to meet the courage of survivors by enacting change in our policies, systems, institutions and culture to support survivors and address sexual violence and other forms of sexual harassment. Our institutions must enact policies that promote safety and ensure that those who are in their care are free from harm.
To accomplish this, we pose the following challenges to our institutions both large and small and commit ourselves to being partners in this change:
- Federal and international policy reform. Lawmakers worldwide, including the U.S. Congress, must advance comprehensive reform to address sexual violence in its many forms, from child sexual abuse, to violence and other forms of sexual harassment at work, in schools, homes and in communities. Legal protections must ensure that all work is safe work, create greater transparency and accountability, and secure fair pay and treatment for those whose economic vulnerability puts them at greater risk of harassment and violence. Governments must also prioritize investing in programs and services to enable survivor healing and support.
- 20 states by 2020. By 2020, 20 states must pass laws to strengthen legal protections against sexual violence and other forms of sexual harassment at work, in communities and every place where it occurs, consistent with the principles set out above, and with care to avoid policy responses that further criminalize people of color and other marginalized communities.
- 100 school districts across the country. Schools are often the first places where young people experience and/or report child sexual abuse, sexual harassment or gender-based violence. Schools have a critical role to play in responding to violence when it occurs — and equally important, to shifting education towards prevention. We call on 100 school districts across the country to demonstrate their leadership by:
- Implementing comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically accurate, LGBTQAI-affirming sexual health education that addresses child sexual abuse, consent, sexual harassment, and dating violence
- Making a public commitment to institute protections for all young people in schools, including LGBTQAI and gender nonconforming young people, above and beyond the protections of Title IX
- Codifying options for survivor-centered and trauma-informed restorative approaches to justice in schools when harm is caused to help move towards collective accountability– rather than defaulting to punitive approaches to school discipline
- $300 million for healing and justice this year. We challenge philanthropy, including foundations, corporate donors, and individuals to seed $300 million in U.S. funding in the next 12 months, dedicated to investing in people and organizations that are addressing sexual violence and other forms of sexual harassment throughout our culture and on all fronts, from grassroots organizing, to direct services, to culture shift work, to legal support and policy development in the United States. Further, we urge philanthropists, businesses, and individuals to seed similar funds across the world to address these needs.
People of good will across the world have a critical role to play as well:
- Vote to support survivors. Voters must use their own power at the ballot box to vote in leaders who champion safety and dignity for women and all survivors, and vote out those who do not.
- Organize. We call upon those fighting for social justice issues around the world to include sexual violence as a priority, by making clear the wide-ranging connections it has to issues from public health to mass incarceration. We urge you to organize in your communities and within your institutions so that there is a broad base of support for efforts to end sexual violence worldwide.
The stakes have always been high, but the world no longer has an excuse to ignore this crisis.
We cannot un-see what we have seen or unhear what we have heard.
Nor will we allow the progress that we have made subside with the passing news cycle, the tide of backlash, or the urgency of other issues.
We commit to push forward to meaningfully address sexual violence and harassment in their many forms. There is no other time but now. Join us.
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An independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action.
An intergenerational organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence and challenging the structural forces that work to constrict the rights of young women of color (cis and trans) and gender nonconforming youth.
Justice for Migrant Women aims to ensure that all migrant women, whether migrating across borders, around regions or within states, are guaranteed human and civil rights, including the freedom of mobility, the ability to live and work with dignity, and to be free of threats of violence against them, as well as their families.
The national voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States.
A non-partisan non-profit committed to improving the lives of all women and families by advancing women’s equality.
A legal advocacy organization championing policy, law, and culture change to ensure women and girls achieve their fullest potential at work, at school, and in their communities.
A non-profit organization that fights to improve working conditions and increase wages for the nation’s restaurant employees.
An international movement against sexual violence and sexual assault.
An advocacy organization founded to improve the economic status of women and address barriers to economic equity across gender lines.
A Better Balance
A CALL TO MEN
A Long Walk Home
A1 Works-in-Progress Associates LLC
African American Ministers In Action
Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual
Alliance for Justice
Alliance for Quality Education
American Association of University Women
American Civil Liberties Union
American Constitution Society
American Federation of Teachers
Arab American Civic Council
Arab American Family Services
Arab-American Family Support Center
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence
Arkansas NOW (National Organization for Women)
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
Association for Women in Psychology
Atlanta Women for Equality
BC Centre For Women In The Trades
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
Black Women’s Blueprint
Black Women’s Roundtable
Break the Cycle
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
California Employment Lawyers Association
California National Organization for Women
Center for Advancement of Public Policy
Center for Advancing Innovative Policy
Center for the Pacific Asian Family
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
Chicago Desi Youth Rising
Chicago Foundation for Women
Chicago Women in Trades
City of New York
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
Coalition Against Workplace Sexual Violence
Coalition on Human Needs
CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Dalit American Foundation
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
DC Rape Crisis Center
Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Displaced Homemakers Network of NJ, Inc.
Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment & Appeals Project
End Rape on Campus
Equal Justice Center
Equal Pay Today
Equal Rights Advocates
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Feminist Majority Foundation
Feminist Women’s Health Center
First Pittsburgh Chapter National Organization for Women
Florida Immigrant Coalition
Futures Without Violence
Gender Equality Law Center
Girl Be Heard
Global Action Project
Healing to Action
HEART Women & Girls
Human Rights Campaign
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
IMPACT Boston, an affiliate of Triangle
IMPACT Chicago Self-Defense
Institute for Policy Studies
International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region
International Women’s Strike, U S
Jane Doe Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York
Jobs With Justice
Justice For Muslims Collective
Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
Latino Union of Chicago
Legal Aid at Work
Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault
Maine Women’s Lobby
Make It Work Nevada
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Maryland NOW (National Organization for Women)
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
Metro NY Chapter, USNC-UN Women
Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition
Missouri Women In Trades
Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
MS Black Women’s Roundtable & MS Women’s Economic Security Initiative
Ms. Foundation for Women
Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)
NARAL Pro Choice America
Nashville Chapter National Organization for Women
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Association for Female Executives
National Black Women’s Justice Institute
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL)
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH)
National Council of Jewish Women
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Health Law Program
National Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women – New York
National Organization for Women Indianapolis Chapter
National Organization for Women, SGV-Whittier CA
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
National Taskforce on Tradeswomen’s Issues
National Women’s Health Network
Native Alliance Against Violence
NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault
NC Justice Center
NC National Organization for Women
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
Nevada Women’s Lobby
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault
New Ventures Maine
New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
New York Paid Leave Coalition
New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
New York Women in Film & Television
NGO Committee On the Status of Women
NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Nontraditional Employment for Women
Northern New jersey Chapter, National Organization for Women
Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault
Not Without Black Women
NYC Anti-Violence Project
Ohio Women’s Action Network
Oregon Abuse Advocates & Survivors in Service
Our Turn Sexual Harassment Action Network
PAU Violence Program – University of Hawai’i
Pauma Tribal Legislative Councilwoman
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
People For the American Way
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
PowHer New York
Pride Action Tank
Public Justice Center
Resilience (formerly Rape Victim Advocates)
Resolve (an IMPACT organization)
Restorative Justice Project, Impact Justice
S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective
Sadie Nash Leadership Project
Sakhi for South Asian Women
Samaritan Safe Church
Sanctuary for Families
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
She Dreams Of Freedom Consulting Group
Southwest Women’s Law Center
State Innovation Exchange
Step Up Louisiana
Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS.org)
SW Idaho NOW
Tennessee National Organization for Women
Tewa Women United
The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc
The Firecracker Foundation
The Goddess Temple of Palm Springs
The Inanna Project
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York
The New York Women’s Foundation
The Relentless Feminist
The Reverence Project
The Voices and Faces Project
The Women’s Law Center for Social Justice and Change
The Women’s Law Center of Maryland
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Ujima, Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
University of Hawaii at Manoa LGBTQ+ Center
University of Rhode Island
Urban Dialog with Suzette
US Women and Cuba Collaboration
Vera House, Inc.
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Violence Intervention Program, Inc.
We Believe You Fund
Western Center on Law and Poverty
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Women & Justice Project
Women of Reform Judaism
Women with a Vision
Women’s All Points Bulletin, WAPB
WOMEN’S CENTER FOR EDUCATION AND CAREER ADVANCEMENT
Women’s Justice NOW
Women’s Law Project
Workers’ Center of Central New York
Working Washington and the Fair Work Center
WREN (Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network)
WV Foundation for Rape Info & Services
WV FREE and WV FREE Action Fund
Young Feminists & Allies: National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Inaugural Virtual Chapter