#MeToo for sex trafficking survivors ( Thomson Reuters Foundation, Oct. 24, 2018)

The #MeToo movement is growing fast in India, where celebrities are joining in sharing stories of harassment and sexual violence on social media.Thomson Reuters Foundation interviewed a number of anti-trafficking organizations in India who explained the challenges faced by survivors, often minors, of trafficking for sexual exploitation, who have experienced some of the worst sexual abuse, is stopping their voices from being heard.“They fear losing respect if they speak about their past. They fear stigma,” said Mona Almeida,of Kshamata, a non-profit that helps rehabilitate survivors.Almeida said she hopes trafficking victims will eventually feel empowered enough to share their stories too.“It may take some time before the movement reaches them,” Almeida said. “But when it does, they may think, ‘Why should I feel ashamed of what happened if these women are able to talk about it?’” Speaking out is not just about empowering the individual, it’s also about preventing future crimes. It also means reporting what happened to the authorities. Around 8,000 cases were reported in 2016 but less than half were filed in the court by the police and less than a third are expected to result in a conviction. the #MeToo movement can help to break down the stigma that prevents survivors from being empowered.