A march was held Saturday in San Diego to support women who have experienced sexual assault or harassment and to recognize the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The march was led and organized by survivors of sex trafficking.
At 10 a.m., supporters of the "Me Too" campaign -- both women and men --marched from the Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego, voicing their stance against sexual assault and violence.
"Me too! Me too!" chanted many of the demonstrators.
Many of the men and women in the crowd said they’ve been inspired by the influx of women who have publicly come forward with their stories of sexual harassment by people in power, including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K., and broadcaster Charlie Rose. Many of the people in the crowd also said they’ve been victims of sexual assault.
“I don’t think there are enough guys who come out and say we fully support our wives,” participant Phil Petrie told NBC 7.
“These women have put up with it for years and years and they’re finally coming out,” added Bill Fish. “I feel like it’s barely scratching the surface. I don’t even think there are nearly all the people who have gone through this have spoken out.”
Community activist Aliza Amar, a sex trafficking survivor, helped organize the event in order to halt "the growing epidemic of rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking," according to her website.
She told NBC 7 she’s glad the conversation about sexual assault is out in the open now.
“I feel as if Hollywood women put the saddle on the horse and I’m taking a ride on it,” she said. “If they were so scared to say anything, imagine the people all around us – these girls who experience it every day but are afraid to speak because they’re afraid to lose their jobs. They’re afraid to lose their family; they’re afraid to lose their kids.”
Marcher Nina Medina said the “Me Too” movement is important for society.
“I think that it is really important that everybody talk the issues that are going on, promote empowerment,” Medina told NBC 7. “There’s always, in my field, a history of domestic violence and violence against women, and that continues. I don’t think there’s more reporting, but I think there are more resources for those victims.”
The march was also organized by Marjorie Saylor, another survivor of sex trafficking.
"We believe it's time to start shaking off the shame and guilt that comes with sexual assault," she said in a social media post leading up to Saturday's event. "Our silence says it's okay. It's not okay to abuse another human being."
Organizers of the "Me Too" demonstration said there were concurrent marches planned for Saturday in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, and even all the way to Sweden, to show solidarity for women who want to break the silence of sexual violence.