The Me Too movement gathered voices to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment. In October 2017, #MeToo spread virally as many women shared their personal experiences with harassment or sexual assault. The movement gained traction when Alyssa Milano urged victims to share their story under the hashtag as sexual assault accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein were surfacing. In the next 48 hours alone, the hashtag had been shared nearly a million times, many coming from victims sharing their own story.
While #MeToo initially gained prominence in part for highlighting mistreatment in the entertainment industry, #ChurchToo was started to highlight similar misconduct in church settings, sometimes accompanied by the failure of church leadership to respond appropriately when allegations were shared with them. Bill Hybels and Andy Savage are among the notable church leaders who have recently resigned in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
Among Protestant pastors
- 85% say they have heard about the #MeToo movement
- Only 16% say they have heard of the #ChurchToo movement
- 4 out of 10 say they are more inclined to preach about domestic and sexual violence because they are hearing more about the discussion
- 12% say they are less likely to preach about it
- 40% say they understand more about domestic and sexual violence because of the #MeToo movement
- 21% say it hasn’t affected their level of understanding
- 39% say they now have more questions than before
- 14% say their congregation has become more callous towards sexual and domestic violence in light of the #MeToo movement
- 6 out of 10 say their congregation has more empathy towards those who are victims of domestic and sexual violence
- 16% say someone on their church staff has experienced sexual harassment in a church setting
- Pastors More Likely to Address Domestic Violence, Still Lack Training by LifeWay Research
- One Year Later: Has #MeToo Changed the Church? by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends