Tarana Burke’s #MeToo campaign, which started in 2007 as a way to encourage people to share their stories of sexual assault, has now moved to the church.
As reported by TIME, Twitter users Hannah Paasch and Emily Joy started the #ChurchToo hashtag to bring attention to sexual assault crimes that happen in the church and are often hidden.
What followed was a movement of people using the hashtag to share their stories of assault, anxiety, victim blaming and cover ups.
According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault with the majority of perpetrators being someone they knew. Unfortunately, statistics within religious communities are often difficult to obtain because they often go unreported.
The hope is that with social media, people can begin to open up about their experiences and address the issue without fear of condemnation.
“As prevalent as abusive grooming is, Christian culture literally teaches women to PREPARE FOR and WELCOME it,” Paasch said on Twitter. “It is THEOLOGY that makes the church an unsafe place for survivors and a haven for abusers. This is not just ‘people hurting people.'”