Jackson-based advocacy group reflects on #MeToo movement followi - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson-based advocacy group reflects on #MeToo movement following Cosby verdict

Throughout the year, we’ve seen the #MeToo movement explode on social media with both women and men sharing their experiences on social media. Source: WLBT Throughout the year, we’ve seen the #MeToo movement explode on social media with both women and men sharing their experiences on social media. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Following Thursday’s guilty verdict at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial, a Jackson-based advocacy group is encouraging sexual assault victims to continue sharing their stories.

READ MORE: Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault

Throughout the year, we’ve seen the #MeToo movement explode on social media with both women and men sharing their experiences on social media.

The social media movement, shining the spotlight on sexual assault and how anyone from any background can be affected.

Allison Hickman works with the Jackson-based group Butterflies by Grace Defined by Faith and said it’s important victims know they’re not alone.

“They are afraid to come forward,” Hickman said. “At Butterflies, we are a platform, so people can come forward and tell their own stories, and therefore give people courage to come forward and share their stories. #MeToo and the verdict today, it gives people that platform. They can come out and things will change for them, things will happen and people are on their side and they are not voiceless, they have a voice.”

Hickman said many victims are often afraid to share their stories and fear others won’t believe them.

RELATED: Discussion on the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment draws crowd

She said many people choose to focus on cases where people have been dishonest about alleged sexual assaults, and that those instances make up between 2-10 percent of cases.

“They have to know that they do have a platform of people who are there with them. They have people that will stand with them, and that they know have a voice and they can really reach out and not be afraid anymore,” Hickman said. “Just because those negative things are out there, there are so many other positive things and organizations that are out there like Butterflies, that can help them cope with what has happened to them.”

Hickman said the victims in Cosby’s case may be scrutinized for waiting for long to publicly speak about the assault, but said it’s important for victims to share their stories even if it didn’t happen recently.

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