August 13, 2022

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Advertisement It’s no secret that social media is rising in popularity and has been for...

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It’s no secret that social media is rising in popularity and has been for the past decade.  With huge websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, movements have swept across the nation and even the whole world in ways they never have before.  These apps make communication between people easy and it can happen in mere seconds.

Perhaps this is how the 2017 “Me Too” movement spread like wildfire across Twitter in specific.  If you’re uncertain what I’m talking about, I’m going to be explaining the movement here, as it is one of the biggest influences on how harassment training is handled in the United States and why it is so important.

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I will not get too in depth here.  However, I do think to understand how this has impacted the business world, we should try to understand some of the history and goals.  Perhaps one of the main facets of this movement’s purpose is healing.  Ways to heal, starting the process, coping with the pain, and finding a support group are all some of the methods they recommend.  Sexual violence and harassment is something that can impact many groups (not just women, keep in mind), and you can find some of the statistics on this within this article here.

#Me Too serves as a valuable resource in this process for women who might feel like they have nowhere else to turn.  Those of us without hope, without recourse.  Maybe people escaping an abusive situation or who are in crisis.

Alongside crisis support hotlines, their website offers important information.  Some of this is about triggers and even post-traumatic stress disorder.  I think such a thing is an invaluable way to remind us that we’re not alone.

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#MeToo in 2017

The phrase gained traction in 2017 after an article about Harvey Weinstein was published by the New York Times.  They accused him of several instances of sexual assault.  After this, an actress named Alyssa Milano kick started a veritable waterfall of events with a tweet that encouraged women to reply with “me too” if they have experienced sexual assault or harassment at some point in their lives.

After that tweet, it only took two days for more than a million tweets with the hashtag #metoo to be posted.  That’s an incredibly large and fast trend even in social media terms, and people started to post about the topic on Facebook as well.  

The Important Impacts #MeToo Has Had

This topic may not have seemed very relevant in an article about workplace harassment, but I can assure you, it’s good to learn about.  After all, this 2017 movement has had far reaching effects, including in the business world.  You can see some examples of this here: https://blog.completepayroll.com/how-me-too-impacted-business.

You see, the can of worms was opened.  Discussing this sort of thing is far less taboo now.  Instead, we are shining a light on these issues and discussing just how wide spread it is.  The country has responded in many ways, including establishing more reforms and policies around this issue.

The Importance of Harassment Training

Something to keep in mind as I discuss these topics is that there are actually statistics out there that show that gender based harassment has been on the rise since the sparking of this social media hash tag in 2017.  This is particularly true in offices, but can affect any work space. 

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Obviously, a modern work place needs to keep their reputation in mind.  Having an incident come out that is in this realm can have serious consequences.  Many women are a lot less likely to shop from or get services from a place that has had harassment or assault allegations.  This is something to pay attention to.

This should all serve as a reminder that businesses are not immune to this problem.  In fact, sexual harassment training is a vital part of safe and healthy work places.  After all, work should fall under this umbrella – victims deserve to feel safe coming forward.

There are now a lot more opportunities for businesses to provide resources and make their employees feel cared about and valued.  Having firm policies in place against sexual harassment in any form and taking any reports seriously is good business practice.

Like I mentioned, we might feel slightly reluctant to discuss this even with the #Me Too trend.  It’s hard to talk about, especially for survivors.  But the reminder that we are not alone is truly invaluable.  Educating employees is something you won’t regret.

After all, having a business with a strong reputation and positive environment can only be a good thing.  Sales will rise along with overall productivity.  This is certainly a case where the positives outweigh any potential negatives (those being stigma surrounding this issue in the first place). 

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