You are on social media and you are scrolling past different posts on your timeline. You scroll and you continually see this pattern of women and men posting #metoo along with their traumatic stories of their encounter with sexual assault. What are your first thoughts? Are you shocked that it seems like almost every women/guy you know has encountered this? Are you concerned that this issue still continues to be an epidemic?
First and foremost, I need to say these women are brave for sharing these terrible moments. They are courageous for taking a stand against what happens to 1 out of 6 girls in America.
It has taught me to be brave about my story. The one that I’ve hidden from the world ever since I was four years old. It has taught me that I can also heal from the pain that I still hold onto from that traumatic moment. I asked myself every day, “why did that happen to me?” Now, I began to make peace with what happened when I was younger. A portion of the self-healing comes from these brave women sharing their story.
This is what I have learned from this movement:
- It has taught me that if we don’t have a platform to discuss this epidemic, then we will create one.
- It has taught me that we as women still live in fear of this reoccurring to them (myself included).
- It has taught me that being silent will not help anyone suffering.
- It has taught me that our stories are still overlooked.
- It has taught me that this happens to young women between 18-34 at college campuses, parties, or by someone we once trusted.
When you read these stories and comment, “why didn’t you tell anyone?”
Here are some of the reasons the victim felt speaking up would be worthless:
Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated: 97%
Percentage of rapes that college students think are false claims: 50%
Percentage of rapes that studies find are false claims: 2-8%
Number of rapes reported in the military last year: 16,500
Remind yourself to study the facts before dismissing their pain. Ask yourself if this was your loved one, would you still think of these stories as “they were asking for it.” Instead of commenting pure ignorance, comment different facilities or counseling options for the victims.
There are women like myself who are still afraid to speak about these issues. Offer your friendship and your support. There are more women today speaking up on this issue. More women like myself who are healing from their pain. This is what the #metoo movement has taught me.