‘Act Too’ initiative looks to include everyone in the conversation about sexual assault
The MeToo movement has launched a new initiative called ‘Act Too’. The purpose of the Act Too initiative is to include everyone, not just survivors, in the conversation about sexual assault. With the glaring statistics of an increase in domestic violence reports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the conversation about sexual assault is more important than ever.
In a Good Morning America segment, MeToo founder Tarana Burke said MeToo was, “being built off the backs of survivors, off the backs of people, out of the labor of people who have already labored enough.”
“Act Too is about activating people in ways that are very accessible to do the work of ending sexual violence and interrupting sexual violence,” Burke said.
According to Burke, the initiative allows people who have not been affected by sexual assault to educate themselves and contribute to the conversation in other ways besides showing support for the hashtag.
The initiative was created by Burke with a team from FCB/SIX, a creative agency based in Toronto. The mission was to make the fight to end sexual assault more accessible for everyone.
Act Too looks to connect people with events, volunteer opportunities, internships, education and other programs to help inform people about sexual assault and break down the stigma surrounding it. Along with creating a platform where these issues live, Act Too also documents what people are doing to get involved. This allows the platform to understand how users are interacting and even where education is lacking.
For Burke, this gives users the power to “create and make and record our own history.”
Act Too allows users to sort information by issues, involvement, interests, and location. Some issues include consent, childhood grooming, domestic and partner violence, rape culture and survivor rights and resources. Each issue has multiple results discussing the topic. For example, there are over 582 results pertaining to consent. These include information about what consent is, volunteer opportunities to work with survivors and even how to respond to jokes about sexual assault.
However, the interests category might be the one users flock to. Categories include education about sexual assault in the entertainment industry, health care, law and politics, sports and others. With so much of the MeToo movement being centered around certain industries, this will likely prove to be a very useful tool.
“Part of the reason why people in mainstream didn’t know about that is because nobody is writing that story for us, and the people who tend to write the stories are usually the people who cause the harm and the oppression,” Burke said. “So if we don’t write our own stories, if we don’t keep track of our own movement, then somebody else will write it.”
Act Too’s rollout occurred in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which means there are still plenty of ways the program will improve. When writing this article there were no opportunities Fargo specific or even North Dakota specific. However, just because there aren’t events occurring in Fargo on the site, does not mean there aren’t opportunities to get involved. Start small, read that box defining what sexual assault is, watch that video about male sexual assault statistics or donate to a relief group.
The fight to end sexual assault doesn’t just happen at marches. It happens when you inform a friend about why that joke isn’t tasteful, when you donate to the women’s shelter and when you educate yourself about how you can break down the stigma. Every movement starts small, just don’t be afraid when it becomes something much bigger.
“[People] are looking for ways to be a part of this,” Burke said. “We are finally having sort of this awakening or reckoning around the idea that if we are not active in this social justice movement then progress won’t happen.”