Throughout history, in many cultures including ours, women have been objectified, harassed, and exploited for sexual gain and power.
In recent weeks and months, we have been witnessing increasing numbers of women who have been harassed and sexually abused by men in positions of power holding them accountable for their actions. Our justice system, and society as a whole are finally supporting women speaking up for themselves and holding men who are sexual predators responsible for their behavior.
Why is this all happening now?
Women are coming together and saying "no more" when it comes to being belittled, objectified, harassed and exploited sexually. Why are all they coming forward now?
On April 27, 2018, 60 sexual abuse victims of longtime 'TV dad', Bill Cosby, celebrated a huge landmark victory when a jury found him guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004. She was just one of many who stood up against him during the first trial. He was tried again a second time and this time they won - the case was strengthened because five other women with similar accounts to Constand testifed. Upon hearing the verdict after the 2nd trial, accuser Lili Bernard told NBC: “My faith in humanity is restored,” adding "the verdict is also a victory for all sexual assault survivors. It’s a victory for Womanhood.” 60 women have accused Bill Cosby of committing sexual assaults spanning decades.
"...the fact that he has been convicted...that's definitely an important moment in history." CNN's Aaron Cooper.
There is a new law, titled SB 813, passed in September, 2016 in California that eliminates the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault. The fact that the justice system is now holding men who have committed crimes against women accountable is a huge victory.
A number of Cosby’s accusers testified before the California Legislature to support the bill, dubbed the Justice for Victims Act, before it made its way to Governor Brown’s desk.
Before, the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes in California was typically 10 years. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represented the accusers of Bill Cosby and met with key Brown advisors on the bill, hailed the governor’s decision to sign the bill into law. “The passage of this new law means that the courthouse doors will no longer be slammed shut in the face of rape victims,” Allred said. “It puts sexual predators on notice that the passage of time may no longer protect them from serious criminal consequences for their acts of sexual violence.”
On Friday May 27th, disgraced, renowned Hollywood producer and film mogul Harvey Weinstein, accused of numerous incidents of sexual assault and misconduct over many years turned himself in to authorities to face charges of sexual abuse and harassment from over 30 women and was arrested. As Ashley Judd penned in a powerful op-ed for Time about what his arrest means for the future of the #MeToo movement: