We asked experts how the #MeToo movement can help sexual assault victims

Me Too. It is the rallying cry of more than 47,000 people against sexual assault and harassment. It started with a message from actress Alyssa Milano on Sunday.

KUSA - Me. Too. 

It is the rallying cry of more than 47,000 people against sexual assault and harassment.   

It started with a message from actress Alyssa Milano on Sunday.

"It’s definitely helpful for society when anybody speaks up about a societal injustice," 9NEWS psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel said. "When a celebrity does it, it usually carries more weight because we look up to celebrities for better or for worse. They have a lot of social power, capital."  

RELATED: 'Me Too': social media flooded with personal stories

With more than three million followers, Milano does have a lot of 'social capital.' Dr. Max however, sees a potential danger in the conversation taking place on the social media platform.

"Lots of people will give you good positive support and that’s great but there will also be the horrible people out there who will use it to denigrate you or make you feel terrible and once you get it out on social media, it’s out there forever," Dr. Max said.

Nevertheless, he believes an open conversation about sexual assault is helpful for both women and men. 

"It's really common," Dr. Max said. "When it happens to you, it feels like you're the only one and it's horribly shameful and you can't tell anybody anything. This brings it out in the open and says 'no it happened to me too.'"  

The tweet specifically addresses women, but Karmen Carter believes men have a part to play as well.

"They can have impact of changing this issue if they're willing to speak out to friends and people they know when inappropriate things are said or done," said Carter, executive director of Blue Bench, a sexual assault prevention and support center.

"I also hope it spurs men to be part of saying, 'this isn't a world I want to live in where people are treated this way' and to decide to do things differently."   

Carter wanted to remind sexual assault victims that it's okay if they are not comfortable to share just yet. 

"We always want to make sure that everyone’s aware that there are folks out there who may not feel comfortable sharing their story," Carter said.

She believes it is important for victims to eventually share their stories with someone they trust because it makes what happened to them real

"It also gives them a mirror to look at, for somebody to say back to them 'this is not your fault,'" Carter said. 

For more information on how to receive support, please visit Blue Bench's website: https://thebluebench.org/get-help/for-myself/services.html

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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