#MeToo movement sparks conversation at DSU

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#MeToo caused the world to pay attention to the sexual assault problem in the country and in individual communities.

#MeToo was a movement on social media where survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment were encouraged to post #MeToo on their timelines to bring to light to just how many people have been affected by it. The movement started in early October, and since then sexual assault victims have come forward to tell their stories and report the crimes committed against them. 

Dean of Students Del Beatty said the movement has shed light on a very important issue which has caused victims to feel more comfortable coming forward to report sexual assault.

“Anything that draws attention to the issue of sexual assault on campus is a good thing, and the #MeToo movement that has swept our nation is empowering victims of sexual assault to come forward and speak out,” Beatty said. 

The goal of the #MeToo movement was to bring awareness to how often sexual assault occurs but also to help spark a conversation to bring about change.

DSU’s Title IX Coordinator Cindy Cole said she hasn’t necessarily seen an increase in students reporting sexual assault, but it has raised awareness on campus. It seems to have started a conversation among students and the surrounding community. These conversations, Cole said she hopes, will encourage students to talk about change. She also hopes it will help students who have been afraid to come forward, find the strength within themselves to report sexual assault crimes. 

“One of a predator’s greatest weapons is silence,” Cole said.

The Title IX office on campus, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Dove center in St. George are all resources for students who have experienced sexual assault. 

Dove advocate Elizabeth Bluhm is available on campus every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bluhm works with DSU to help students who are victims of sexual assault; everything that is reported to her is considered confidential. This is a good source for students looking to talk about their experience, but don’t want to file an official report, Bluhm said. She also said anyone is welcome to talk to her both on campus or at the Dove Center.