Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. It feels good to write those words. Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist. As one of his survivors, I feel positively ecstatic. This is a momentous win. But it didn’t come without hardship.
In 2017, I came forward to share my story about Harvey. It was not an easy decision. And there has been much backlash for many of us after speaking out.
Still, I knew the time had come to break my silence and expose Harvey for the predator that he is. I joined dozens of other women who described how the disgraced mogul used every lever of power to silence so many women. In doing so, he isolated us and made us feel like we were alone and without a support system.
But through our unified voice, we started to change the culture around powerful men and what society allows them to do. We started to change history.
The accounts shared by Silence Breakers marked the beginning of the end for Harvey and the unchecked power he represents. The stories shared by his survivors forced the world to listen. And as more women publicly came forward with allegations of his sexual violence and predatory behavior, Harvey was fired from his namesake company, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and banned for life from the Producer’s Guild. He was ostracized from the same institutions he once ruled over.
It was clear a movement was beginning.
What followed was a domino effect:
- Harvey faced a civil class action lawsuit in New York, shining a spotlight on the accountability and complicity of the companies involved.
- He is facing active claims in the UK.
- The Los Angeles County District Attorney formed a special sexual assault task force, and its first case is Harvey Weinstein’s indictment on criminal charges.
- And of course, he was just found guilty of two charges in his highly publicized criminal trial in New York.
Harvey Weinstein’s atrocious acts are finally receiving a public reckoning, and our voices are leading to a cultural revolution.
As a survivor of Harvey Weinstein, the stakes were personally high in this verdict. His criminal trial in New York is a symbol, and now this victory serves as an important moment to push for a safer world that we all want to live in. The wheels are now in motion to drive the discourse needed for broad change. Women’s collective voices have laid the groundwork; now, the movement requires more organization surrounding laws and policies that can support survivors of sexual assault. We need a justice system where a woman isn’t put on trial and made to feel more morally abhorrent than her rapist. We need to stop blaming women for the actions of their attackers. We need to revise statutes of limitations on sexual misconduct lawsuits that do little than protect predators.
Future generations don’t have to inherit institutions that protect men like Harvey Weinstein, and I’m beyond hopeful that they won’t. Our children are watching and they are mobilized to protest. They are acutely aware of injustice and manipulation. And with Harvey’s conviction, I hope they will see that they will also never be silenced.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com
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