#MeToo: Harvey Weinstein case moves thousands to tell their own stories of abuse

Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.

She urged any women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to write two words on Twitter: “Me too.”

“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,” wrote the actress, who is known for her roles in “Who’s the Boss?” “Melrose Place” and “Charmed,” and as a host of “Project Runway All Stars.”

Milano starred in “Charmed” alongside Rose McGowan, one of film producer Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. She is also friends with Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, and wrote in a blog post that she was sickened by the “disturbing” sexual abuse allegations against him.

Women listened. Within hours, tweets with the words “me too” began appearing in droves. By 4 a.m. Monday, more than 200,000 #metoo tweets were published by Twitter’s count. The stories came pouring forth on Facebook as well with nearly 80,000 people said to be “talking about this” by the wee hours Monday.

The messages were striking in their simplicity, and in the sheer number of them. Those two words soon became a hashtag, the top trend nationwide on Twitter and yet another rallying cry for women — and men — who have experienced some type of sexual harassment or assault.

Many shared brief but painful personal stories of their experiences, some reaching back to their teen years, others to bad memories of abuse in the workplace never revealed, of troubles they encountered in their families and of their own silence in the face of harassment or assault.

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

“I imagine there are teen girls who haven’t told their parents they’ve been threatened, groped, even WORSE just like I didn’t,” wrote another. 

“I have been raped twice in my life,” tweeted one woman, “stalked four times and was threatened with my life when I tried to speak out @ 14.”

There was the woman who said she was assaulted by a man who pretended to work at a local YMCA, and the woman who said she was groped in an elevator by a superior who was nearly two decades older. “I never told anyone,” she said.

Read more at The Washington Post