Black women have and continue to be leaders in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence.  

Tarana Burke is known as an activist, community organizer, executive, and founder of the “me too” movement. With over 19 million uses on Twitter in one year alone, this hashtag started one of the most notable movements of our time.

In a Variety article penned by Burke, she explains, “Everyday people — queer, trans, disabled, men and women — are living in the aftermath of a trauma that tried, at the very worst, to take away their humanity. This movement at its core is about the restoration of that humanity.”

The “me too” movement was created to highlight the violence experienced by marginalized women. Along the way, it brought international attention to the universal prevalence of sexual violence. 

Research finds 4 of every 10 Black and multiracial non-Hispanic women in the U.S. report experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

Burke is now considered a global leader in the movement to end sexual violence and does so with her theory of “empowerment through empathy.” Her work is changing how we talk about sexual violence and serve survivors.

This movement was built with the intention of collective healing by creating space for survivors to cultivate empathy with one another.

“For too long women and others living on the margins have managed to survive without our full dignity intact,” reminds Burke. “It can’t continue to be our reality.” 

This post is part of our Black History Month series celebrating the contributions of Black women in the movement to end intimate partner and sexual abuse. 

#MeToo and Your Healing Journey

Click on the link above to watch this Youtube video.