Pay attention to Hollywood’s victims

When multiple women came forward about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct in October, the ripple effect it had on other survivors of such inappropriate and abominable conduct coming forward seemed almost instantaneous. These women are incredibly brave in the face of such lewd actions by Hollywood stars who abuse their positions of power. Kevin Spacey, Roy Price, Mark Halperin, Ken Baker and Louis C.K are just several of the many familiar Hollywood “stars” that have recently been accused of sexual misconduct.
Most recently, NBC’s Today show fired anchor Matt Lauer as a result of a sexual misconduct complaint filed against him. Since this first allegation, The Times has revealed that NBC received two more complaints against Lauer. The report Variety has released on Lauer exposes his unwarranted sexual remarks against female co-workers, amongst other disgusting advances that took place in his office.
These acts of sexual misconduct are most certainly disturbing, as many news sources and  audiences have pointed out. The survivors who have come forward regarding their experiences with these problematic and extremely damaging sexual advances should be accredited with shedding light on the topic of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. Having conversations about this serious topic not only helps raise awareness and offer sympathy to survivors, but it emphasizes the need to eliminate such unjustified behavior.
The majority of these perpetrators are white males in positions of power in Hollywood, which is no surprise to many audiences. Many women who have come forward about these men behaving inappropriately have expressed that they were concerned about not getting a job or their careers being ruined.
Despite the countless celebrities whom have been accused of sexual misconduct, there are most likely thousands, if not more, survivors of sexual misconduct who have not come forward. Amidst all of the praise and respect people have for those who do report sexual misconduct in its various forms, the same level of respect should be given to those who do not report these tragic instances. For many people who experience unwanted sexual advances, particularly in the workplace, speaking up does not necessarily feel like a safe option. Speaking out may result in feeling ostracized, severe emotional trauma or even getting fired.
Recently, the #MeToo hashtag took social media by storm. This was a powerful and effective way for survivors of sexual assault to share their experiences and empathize with one another, taking a stand against perpetrators who aim to silence them. Nonetheless, many survivors do remain silent, which should not invalidate their experiences.
Whether a person speaks out or not after they have experienced sexual misconduct, society should aim to make survivors feel safe regardless. Perhaps being more understanding of how a survivor chooses to cope will create the cohesive and productive atmosphere that society needs in order to combat sexual misconduct in any scenario. After all, the real villains in these situations are the disgusting perpetrators themselves.