Sexual abuse stories flood social media


American actress Alyssa Milano on Sunday sparked the outpouring with a Twitter request that women respond "me too" if they had also been targeted.
American actress Alyssa Milano on Sunday sparked the outpouring with a Twitter request that women respond "me too" if they had also been targeted.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Celebrities and everyday people continued flooding social media with personal accounts of sexual assault and harassment on Monday, responding to calls to break the culture of silence.

American actress Alyssa Milano on Sunday sparked the outpouring with a Twitter request that women respond "me too" if they had also been targeted.

Monica Lewinsky - at the centre of the White House sex scandal in the 1990s leading to the impeachment trial of former US President Bill Clinton - simply tweeted the hashtag #MeToo without comment.

Responding to Milano's call, Lady Gaga and Sheryl Crow were among those from the music world tweeting their support.

Crow on Monday shared her experience of improper behaviour by a manager "on my first big tour as a backup singer".

Actress Evan Rachel Wood wrote of being raped more than once.

American fashion model Cameron Russell took to Instagram last week asking her followers to share experiences of sexual abuse in her industry, using the hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse.

Italian actress Asia Argento, who has accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, said a Hollywood director had raped her and that an Italian director had exposed himself to her when she was a minor.

In France, the top-trending hashtag #balancetonporc, started by journalist Sandra Muller, brought forth stories from women of being sexually harassed at work or on the street.

She began the hashtag recounting how her former boss had called her "my type of woman" and then commented on her breasts.

In Britain, Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted her own claims of harassment, "like millions of women & girls all around the world. Shame is on the attackers, not me".