In a tweet citing an unnamed friend, the former 'Charmed' star wrote: "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."
If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Ms Milano was the first to write, "Me too."
Me too.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Soon, women and men flooded social media with their own powerful accounts of surviving abuse, drawing courage from the thousands others who were speaking out.
Me too https://t.co/ScX67Kmmiy— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 15, 2017
Me too— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) October 15, 2017
#MeToo— Najwa Zebian (@najwazebian) October 16, 2017
And I was blamed for it.
I was told not to talk about it.
I was told that it wasn't that bad.
I was told to get over it.
Me too. I don't know if means anything coming from a gay man but it's happened. Multiple times.— Javier Muoz (@JMunozActor) October 15, 2017
Many used the hashtag to post powerful messages of solidarity and to call for an end to the violence:
To every man "shocked" by all of us posting #MeToo -— Kelli Butler (@TheOperaGeek) October 16, 2017
We've been telling you for years.
You didn't want to listen.
Do you hear us now?
It's not your clothing.— quinn cummings (@quinncy) October 15, 2017
It's not your feminism.
It's not your education.
It's your assailant.
Men,Don't say you have a mother, a sister, a daughter...
Say you have a father, a brother, a son who can do better.
We all can.#MeToo— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) October 16, 2017
Mothers & Fathers, We need to raise the next generation of men to be feminists who will respect & love all women. #MeToo— BCarrz (@bcarrz) October 16, 2017
Countless others have updated their status on Facebook to "Me Too."
The movement comes in response to the staggering number of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, including by Ms Milano's former 'Charmed' co-star Rose McGowan.
On Friday, the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter was the top trend and many women chose to log off the microblogging platform for 24-hours to protest "women's voices being silenced." Click for more trending news