Spurred by recent allegations that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has sexually harassed and assaulted dozens of women in the film industry over a period of decades, nearly a million users of the hashtag #MeToo have been opening up on Twitter about their own experiences with sexual predators. But the responsibility for mitigating the abuses that have been so movingly described shouldn’t be on survivors. It’s past time for the rest of us to step up.

Started in 2007 by Tarana Burke, an African-American consultant, activist and sexual violence survivor looking to reach other survivors in underprivileged communities, the #MeToo campaign went viral Sunday afternoon with a note from actress Alyssa Milano.

“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” she wrote. “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

The responses have come pouring in, with some saying just the two words, and others presenting heartbreaking memories:

Me too, my mother too, my sister too, my grandmother too, my best friends too. #metoo.”

 “I’ve been solicited and groped in an elevator by a superior who was nearly two decades older than me. I never told anyone. #Metoo.”

 “#MeToo When I served in the military. More than a few times. I stayed silent for self preservation. I regret it daily.”

 “#MeToo I’m a male. Was raped when in high school by two men. I’ve never gotten over it & sometimes I’m scared to be touched.”

#MeToo is also trending on Facebook, sparking an estimated 12 million-plus posts, comments and reactions in its first 24 hours. And every survivor who’s posted on social media deserves respect and admiration for having the courage to go public with the painful details of their personal stories.

But survivors have been shouldering a burden that isn’t rightfully theirs. Abusive behaviors won’t stop unless those who’ve been standing on the sidelines choose to become part of the solution.

If you don’t believe that harassment really happens, or you think it’s not that big a deal, or if you feel that a survivor is less credible for having kept quiet, look into the wealth of evidence that indicates otherwise. If you do believe that sexual harassment is a problem but you don’t know how to notice, handle and/or report it, informed advice – including “Step up, speak up” and “Write things down” – exists on how to do just that.

We as a culture are at a turning point: We can let this moment pass, or we can – finally – commit ourselves to supporting survivors and holding abusers accountable. The response to #MeToo is a call to action that shouldn’t be ignored.

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