Congratulations to sociology senior Katelin Smith, for publishing an article based on her research on the #MeToo movement to raise awareness of women’s experiences with sexual assault! Katelin’s paper, Exploring Why Women Use #MeToo to Share Personal Experiences of Sexual Assault: A Qualitative Descriptive Study, was published in The Macksey Journal, an undergraduate journal organized by Johns Hopkins University to provide students opportunities to share their work in the humanities.
As part of her research, Katelin conducted qualitative interviews with 14 women about their reasons and motivations behind using the #MeToo hashtag on social media to share their experiences with sexual assault and harassment. Katelin interviewed women at Appalachian State, as well as in other locations around the world, including Pakistan, Canada, and Singapore. The findings from her study shed light on women’s reasons for sharing their stories online, including a lack of family support and seeing social media platforms as a way to release emotions about their experiences in new ways.
Asked about what she gained from doing this research, Katelin stated that: “Having the chance to conduct a global research project, and interviewing women around the world, really helped me to gain perspective on the contrasts between U.S. policies and those of other countries.”
Alongside this research, Katelin will also be doing her internship with the Julie Valentine Center in Greenville, South Carolina, this upcoming January as an advocate for victims of sexual violence. Asked what she hopes to learn through this opportunity, she says she hopes to “learn more about the resources that are available to people in my area.”
Upon her graduation in the Spring 2021 semester, Katelin plans to find employment in a field related to her research and explore graduate programs in Social Work.