*This post may be a trigger for some sexual assault survivors.*
I could write #metoo on my profile 100 times and (some) people still wouldn’t understand the pain and hurt that I’ve been through.
We’ve always been the victim when it comes to sexual assault. We’re the victim on the streets and in the sheets and then we become the victim of additional abuse when we open up and say “I’ve been assaulted.”
If no one understands what I’m talking about, people are sharing #metoo on their social media platforms. It started with actress Alyssa Milano tweeting “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.”
Now, we’re outing ourselves to make a difference and I am so humbled that women are speaking up but at first, I wasn’t going to share my story. I wasn’t going to write #metoo. I stopped myself from sharing because I didn’t want to out myself as a survivor of sexual assault and put the focus on me when the focus should be on the person who got away with what he did to me.
I didn’t want to take part because I still feel shame and guilt for what happened and I didn’t want to take part because I know it probably won’t change anything. We know how social media works. We’re obsessed with something for a day, but soon we’ll just scroll over the countless “#metoo’s” on our pages and not relate the story back to the person, defeating the purpose. But here I am…
It breaks my heart seeing so many people I know write #metoo on their social media channels. I want to reach out to them and say “me too”, I’m here for you. There are just too many people posting it…
It breaks my heart that someone can do something so cruel to someone.
We out ourselves as survivors in hopes that people will stop doing what they’re doing. But 8 women spoke up about Jian Ghomeshi sexually assaulting them and he was acquitted.
More than 50 women spoke up about Bill Cosby sexually assaulting and raping them. The trial ended in a mistrial and a juror said a major cause of the deadlock was “no real new evidence.”
More than 15 women have spoken up about being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. And what happened there? He was elected as the president of the U.S.A.
Now, more than a dozen women have opened up about being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
Fucking hell. When will it stop?
Last year I was taken advantage of by someone I was seeing. (they are no longer in my life)
I was told, “sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do Molly.”
You know how the rest of the story goes. The victim says no but the word that should mean “stop that” doesn’t mean that at all.
When I spoke up to people about what happened to me, I was told I was lying and the guy “wouldn’t do something like that”.
It’s affected me greatly since it happened.
It’s affected the way I see myself. The amount of self-confidence that I’ve lost since that night is unexplainable. For the past 365 days, I’ve grown this huge hatred for my body. My beautiful body that brings me life, I hate because what happened TO me not BECAUSE of me. I didn’t cause this to happen.
I wasn’t wearing a short skirt. I wasn’t asking for it. I wasn’t flirting. I wasn’t teasing. I wasn’t leading him on and even if I was, it doesn’t give anyone the right to not listen to me when I say no.
Not only do I hate my body now, but I’ve lost a great level of trust towards people. I’m scared of any man that isn’t my boyfriend. I’m scared of the men who catcall me in the morning when I walk to work. I’m scared of the men who catcall me at lunch when I go to the bank. I’m scared of the men who catcall me when I go for a cup of coffee after work.
I’m scared that nothing will ever change. No matter how many people come forward saying they’ve been sexually assaulted. Barely anything has happened in the past.
I’m in pain because I’m remembering what happened to me a year ago. I’m in pain for my friends who are hurting. I’m in pain for the people I see sharing their story on social media who I don’t even know but relate with.
I’m in pain because deep down I know that people will continue sexually assaulting others. People will continue to be acquitted. People will get more mistrials or have their cases dropped.
I’m in pain because I’m thinking of the future generations who will undoubtedly go through this too. But, what I’m most scared of is one-day bringing children into this scary and broken world and explaining to them what’s happening.
Opening up is hard and sharing stories is even harder. I wasn’t sure about posting this but then I remembered that speaking up is my purpose. And while I have trouble thinking that this #metoo thing could make a difference, I am open to continuing this conversation and figuring out what we can do to start change. Because bloody hell, we need change.
My friend and I were talking about this tonight and she said something that needs to be shared:
“I also want to say that I think it ends being a defining thing for people – or women, primarily. Like, if you post that #metoo status are people on your Facebook or Instagram just going to label you as this survivor of something, or this victim of something horrible? Like, that isn’t at all what defines anyone.”
If you need someone to talk to about something that’s happened to you or if you’re triggered by this post or the #metoo social media campaign in general, there is help out there. Here are a number of links that may be of help to you: