Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape in the third degree against one woman and committing a criminal sex act in the first degree against another.
And while these are just two out of many charges laid against him, tonight we know that he is in custody and is facing up to 20 years in jail.
As Rose McGowan puts it, maybe, just maybe “we can exhale,” if only a little bit.
Because we know that speaking up about sexual assault is hard. Taking an abuser to court is even more difficult. And when the stats show that only 1 in 10 reports of sexual assault end in a conviction in Australia and even fewer in the U.S (1 in 50), when all the odds seem stacked against the survivors, then Harvey Weinstein’s guilty verdict on two counts is something.
It’s the “beginning of justice,” actress and #silencebreaker Mira Sorvino writes post-verdict.
“More work to be done for sure,” says fellow #silencebreaker Rose McGowan, “but today I can say that due to the strengths of many, the prosecutor’s tenacity, the jury who did better than most, and especially the women who took the stand, there is a Monster off the streets.”
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Today we can exhale. The stinky trash is gone. Thank you to the brave women testifying who took it on the chin to get us over the finish line. Endlessly proud of them. Today the world is safer because he’s not on the streets. Today the world is also smarter than it was pre-2017 (my personal goal was to use my story and my fight and my ambition to cause a massive Cultural Reset. I wanted to burn a system down, and so I did.) Did you know only 2% of rapes lead to conviction? How messed up is it that it’s an insane privilege to see anything bad happen to your rapist, let alone them go to jail?! More work to be done for sure, but today I can say that due to the strengths of many, the prosecutor’s tenacity, the jury who did better than most, and especially the women who took the stand, there is a Mønster off the streets. Love to you all who’ve shown me support along the way. Deeply appreciated. Goddamn, I can breathe. And maybe, just maybe, learn to hope again X RM
It took more than 80 of these brave silence breakers – to make this happen. And the result is only TWO guilty verdicts so far.
80 people, including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of the #MeToo movement, activism through Times Up and legal changes made in New York to ensure survivors have up to 20 years instead of just 5 years to report cases of second-degree rape and sexual assault.
Change is happening, albeit slowly.
“We will change the laws in the future so that rape victims are heard and not discredited and so that it’s easier for people to report their rapes,” tweets Rosanna Arquette.
And now, with Weinstein facing the next two decades in prison, the women of Hollywood remind us that that perhaps there is hope – perhaps there is a way to create change and ensure more predators have their day in court.