2018 – 8th Grade National 3rd Place Winner

Jane Park, New York.

The 21st century is a time of truth, where individuals come out of the dark and finally share their stories. Society has encouraged and even embraced these people who have found the courage to speak out. People of all ages and all backgrounds, from celebrities to reporters to even gymnasts, have courageously come out to unveil the truth and have come out of the darkness. As unfortunate as some of these situations are, these tales of truth have opened the eyes of America to the horrifying stories that so many have gone through.

The #MeToo campaign has become much more than just a trend on social media. It has become the beacon of hope for many sexual assault survivors who had lost their voice. This campaign has spread like fire. Tarana Burke being the first spark that would ultimately lead to a wildfire of truth. Soon, more and more women were using the #MeToo to share their stories and come out of silence. Time Magazine has dedicated the year of 2017 to these women, ‘the silence breakers.’ As inspiring and encouraging this movement has been to the people of America, it has brought light to the unfortunate magnitude of sexual assault. #MeToo has encouraged victims everywhere by telling them that they are not fighting alone against the war on sexual harassment. Honestly, as a student hearing the horrifying stories, I am even more horrified at the reactions these women were met with. Women who had the bravery to tell others were only met with disbelief and the chilling idea that it was their own fault for getting assaulted. Even in modern society, victims feel as though their voice renders powerless. That, no matter how loud they scream and shout, they are only met with silence. The #MeToo campaign has finally broken the glass ceiling of deceit with women banding together to expose the injustice and unfair treatment of victims.

Other than social media, the press has served as a platform for uncovering truth. A 2006 investigation, led by the Boston Globe’s ‘Spotlight’ Team, took the nation by storm after exposing the horrific misdeeds of priests in the Boston area. Priests would sexually abuse or even rape young adolescence for as long as 20 years. Even before the Spotlight Team, victims would speak about this only to be shunned and nonchalantly dismissed. After its coverage on the crimes of five Catholic priests, the topic of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church finally received the attention of the public. This investigation started out with five priests but as the issue became larger and larger, a list of the names of 159 priests accused of sexual abuse came out. The team ultimately shed light on the voices that had gone unheard and revealed the dark truth about the horrible actions.

There are moments of truth in everyday life. Whether it be from an investigation or even a small confession, the truth is not always easy to swallow. Both events were mere telling of truth but the effect was tremendous. Victims, who had lost their voices, were now speaking their stories and breaking the barrier of silence that had stood for so long. The nation was filled with shock and horror after realizing the twisted reality and demanded for action. However, as hard and painful truth may seem, it has helped society see problems that had once been overlooked. Layers of deceit and lies will never be able to conceal the truth underneath. The lies dissolve with time yet the truth always stands.




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