6 Years of the #MeToo Movement

Posted on: 6 mins read
Last updated:
Elinor Rae

Paralegal, Abuse

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6 years – almost 7 – have passed since the #MeToo movement began in the US. It has since become a global phenomenon, sparking conversation about sexual harassment and abuse.

In 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted ‘#MeToo’ when Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and encouraged others who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to do the same. Since then, more than 80 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. 5 years later, he has been found guilty in his second sex crimes trial.

For many, #MeToo has become shorthand for solidarity with victims who have faced their abusers. It has encouraged and given the strength to others to do the same.

Since conversations began, many people have developed a better understanding of what constitutes sexual abuse. People have reframed their past experiences after hearing about others’ experiences, identifying themselves as survivors and not just victims of abuse.

The #MeToo movement has clearly had an impact on society and how many of us view and deal with issues of sexual assault, abuse and violence. It is evident, in this way, how much speaking out about your experiences can help create change, and contribute to a wider movement to try and stop these things from happening.

As a result of the increasing awareness around these issues, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of victims of abuse coming forward and getting in touch with us to discuss the possibility of claiming compensation for the abuse and mental health issues they suffered as a result of it.

At Simpson Millar, we have a team of specialists who are experts in dealing with compensation claims around the subject of sexual abuse. We understand how difficult it is to talk about these things and to go back to these memories, which is why we’ll always go at your pace when it comes to building a claim.

Our friendly and approachable team of Solicitors can help you work on and build a solid claim for compensation, with the evidence and paperwork you’ll need. In addition, we’ll always strive to keep you in the know about what’s going on with your case and what the latest updates are, so you’re never left stressed out and in the dark about the progress of your claim.

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What has changed since #MeToo?

The #MeToo movement has had a positive impact and created many societal shifts, such as:

  • An increased public awareness of sexual assault
  • People feeling more empowered to speak up about their experiences
  • Many sexual violence perpetrators being brought to justice
  • Enhanced protections for people within UK industries
  • Individuals and organisations identifying sexual misconduct, harassment and assault, which is often disregarded as ‘banter’.

Since the #MeToo movement, there has clearly been a shift in terms of the increase in victims of sexual abuse, assault and violence coming forward to talk about their experiences. The movement has enabled these victims to speak up openly and honestly without fear of being judged or punished for doing so.

The essence of the #MeToo movement has always been that the more people speak out about their abusers, the more people will be inspired to also speak up and contribute to the movement. In this way, #MeToo is all about empowering people to talk about what they’ve gone through.

On the legal side of things, the #MeToo movement has definitely called for reforms to the legal system to improve the way things are done, and to support the victims speaking out. There is an increasing focus on these people getting the justice they deserve, through legal means, putting the onus on the legal system to help out and contribute to the movement as best they can.

The Effect of #MeToo

The #MeToo movement has created a ripple effect, prompting organisations and industries to address sexual harassment and abuse across the UK:

  • Time’s Up UK – A UK charity founded in 2017 to fight sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • #SpeakingOut was used on social media as a hashtag to expose sexual misconduct in British professional wrestling’s version of the #MeToo movement.
  • The ‘#GymnastsAlliance movement was created following gymnasts reporting abuse by Larry Nassar. The Netflix documentary ‘A Athlete’ was released in 2020 to put spotlight on the efforts to bring Nassar to justice.
  • The ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website was created for children as a safe place for survivors to anonymously share their stories of abuse at schools.
  • Survivor Charlie Webster investigated the shocking culture surrounding UK sports and its #MeToo reckoning in the BBC documentary ‘Nowhere To Run’.
  • Unprecedented numbers of current and former military servicewomen have submitted written evidence which detailed claims of abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse.
  • An Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade was carried out following the tragic death of firefighter, Jaden Matthew Francois-Esprit, who took his own life. His family were concerned that he’d been bullied throughout his service. This has led to sustained criticism that the Brigade has a problem with racism and struggles with bullying and discrimination.

Where there is power, there is the potential for abuse of power. The many manifestations of the #MeToo movement demonstrate that people have come together globally to prevent others from experiencing sexual assault and to combat people in power silencing survivors.

Many people used to be afraid of speaking up against sexual abusers due to this power imbalance. Especially in the context of the #MeToo movement, a lot of these victims would have suffered the abuse or misconduct in the workplace, which means they could have been worried about losing their jobs as a result of coming forward and speaking out about the abuse or misconduct.

However, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, more and more people are speaking up.

Whether or not people choose to report sexual assault, the #MeToo movement has given a platform for voices to be heard.

At Simpson Millar, our Abuse Solicitors are here to support by pursuing claims against individuals, public bodies, and local authorities on behalf of survivors of abuse.

Get in Touch

Now that there is more of an understanding around speaking up against sexual, abuse, assault and violence, at Simpson Millar, we want to make sure the legal system keeps up with the times. That means ensuring this area of the law is as accessible as possible, so that victims are able to claim compensation as smoothly and easily as possible.

That’s why we try our best to answer all our clients’ questions as openly and honestly as possible, in a way that helps them understand what’s happening with their case. In addition, we aim to maintain a sensitive and mindful safe space where you can air any legal worries or concerns you may have about your case. We’re here to help and to listen to you and make sure the legal process is as clear to you as possible.

We want to take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to these emotionally straining and difficult cases. We understand that you’re likely already going through a lot of turmoil and stress. That’s why we want to help you feel as supported as possible on the legal side of things. You’ll never have to be confused about your case, or chase up its progress, because we’ll be with you along every step of the way.

All in all, our aim is to get you the result you need to begin to move on and heal from your experiences. Of course, we understand that no amount of compensation will ever be enough to undo the emotional and mental scars of what has happened to you, but we aim to get you the justice you deserve, so you are able to focus on starting the healing process.


#MeToo Movement. (n.d.). Me Too Movement. Retrieved from https://metoomvmt.org/

Global Fund for Women. (n.d.). #MeToo Movement. Retrieved from https://www.globalfundforwomen.org/movements/me-too/

Corbett, H. (2023, November 16). The #MeToo Movement Six Years Later: What's Changed and What's Next. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/hollycorbett/2023/11/16/the-metoo-movement-six-years-later-whats-changed-and-whats-next/

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