Dozens attend #MeToo panel discussion at UNCW

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It is a movement that is sweeping the nation, social media, and Hollywood one hashtag at a time.

As many continue to discuss the #MeToo movement on social media UNCW brought in a panel to discuss it as a community.

This just a week after sexual misconduct allegations against UNCW Womens Soccer Coach Paul Cairney came to light.

“One of the biggest components to this issue comes down to education and what’s acceptable and what variables are important for healthy relationships,” UNCW Student, Abby Greenfield said. “How do you become a good bystander for your peers?”

The main focus during the panel discussion was the history and meaning behind #MeToo and whether it is a movement or a moment.

“I think having these conversations and having a lot of these conversations,” UNCW CARE Director, Jen Adler said. “So being able to talk with people that are familiar with these issue but also talking with people who aren’t familiar with these.”

Dozens attended the event as 4 panelists explained how sexual abuse dates back in history, the double standards still in place, and ideas to pave the way to give confidence to those afraid to speak up about abuse.

“I hope that we’re continuing to reduce the stigma of sexual assault of people coming forward to talk about it,” Adler said. “To be able to support victims and survivors and really discontinue the victim blaming that our society tends to do so that ultimately we can also hold offenders accountable.”

While some say this discussion is one step in the right direction, many say there is much more work to be done.

“I think we scratched the surface today and it got people’s minds churning about what can we do on campus, what can we do as a whole, how does our social media platforms affect these types of movements,” Greenfield said. “And I hope that we can talk about it more.”

A Title IX official was supposed to be one of the 5 panelist but was unable to attend because they were in a meeting with the UNCW’s Chancellor.

Those who organized the event say they plan on hosting more panels in the near future.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover