Today, Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in a New York court following his convictions for rape and sexual assault. He now faces further charges in LA and there is an ongoing criminal investigation in the UK.
Today’s landmark sentencing decision is a major moment for the silence breakers and for women battling everywhere for their right to work in a safe workplace without fear of abuse and harassment. It is also a major moment for justice and the system of justice. At its heart is a jury who are charged with deciding who they believe about a criminal act which rarely has forensic evidence nor witnesses. Most rape and assault cases never come to trial because fundamentally women are not believed.
The precedence of this case cannot be underestimated. A group of brave women were listened to and believed. A man who abused his power has faced consequences (and may face further consequences in the months to come). The importance of this case is not that this ends harassment but that it provides a dent in a system which we know from revelations at Fox and CBS Corporation among others, has been systemic in our industry and broader society. This is not a situation of one lone bad wolf.
Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair, TIME’S UP UK says; “For us at TIME’S UP UK the courage of the silence breakers inspires our work as we focus on how the culture has to change to ensure no one has to say #MeToo again. What this trial shows us is that there is no greater power than a group of women who know their rights. When we work together, we can effect change, change that will shift the power balance and support and give hope to women for years to come.”
Help us continue our work creating the far-reaching changes in every corner of society that will ensure everyone can feel safe at work, at play and at home by donating to the independent Justice & Equality Fund administered by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. Together we can end the culture of harassment, abuse and impunity.