Celebrities Extend a Hand to Sexual Harassment Victims in Other Industries

woman holding out hand in self defense
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The past year seemed to shine a light on sexual harassment in the workplace, as news headlines announced scandal after scandal.

The thing is… much of the attention seemed to focus on the entertainment and media industries, when we all know sexual harassment exists way outside of Hollywood, too.

Workplace harassment has no boundaries. From corporate offices to quick-service restaurants, workers experience sexual misconduct or abuse on the job that all too often goes on without any consequences or repercussions.

Even gig-economy workers aren’t immune.

Fortunately, Hollywood stars are speaking up for the victims who don’t share the same degree of fame or wealth.

On January 1, a group of over 300 women in the entertainment industry launched an initiative called Time’s Up to support women outside of Hollywood who find themselves faced with workplace sexual harassment, Vanity Fair reported.

Some of the prominent figures involved with this movement include Meryl Streep, Shonda Rhimes and America Ferrera.

A letter of solidarity issued by the collective states, “We… recognize our privilege and the fact that we have access to enormous platforms to amplify our voices.”

“We particularly want to lift up the voices, power and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation,” the letter goes on to say.

Part of the initiative includes setting up a $15 million fund to subsidize legal costs for sexual harassment victims seeking justice. Over $14 million has already been raised, with everyday individuals making $5, $10 and $25 donations, in addition to $500,000 donations from famous women including Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.

The National Women’s Law Center will administer the fund. Participating lawyers across the nation will work with the center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity to assist victims in need.

Those who want to contribute to the legal defense fund can donate here.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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