I’m not normally one to follow trends, and it’s taken me the entire day to find my true feelings for this hashtag. At first I thought it was pointless, what good would a hashtag do to stop sexual harassment and abuse? How will the unheard and overshadowed words of victims make any difference? Then I thought of the scale. Thousands, if not millions of people have already posted #metoo which shows the scale of the issue – and that is important.
The only way to deal with the underlying issue is to acknowledge it in the first place. Remind parents and role models (teachers etc.) to teach children that they can speak out if something wrong happens to them and more importantly teach them that it’s wrong. Considering this has all been a known thing for many many years and we tend to ignore it, this is just another domino in the long line that needs to fall before people feel safe.
No one deserves to feel like they can’t speak up about what has happened to them and everyone’s experience is important. Every single person who has been assaulted in this way has had to deal with the pain of it, some people even needing therapy whilst the people who did it walk free with no guilt and that is an issue. Why do they get to go on with their lives as if nothing happened whilst their victims suffer.
One thing I would like to say, however, is that a lot of this seems to be centred more on women’s experiences. Although the percentage of assaults on women is probably higher than that of men’s it still happens to men, and women can also be the abuser. Terry Crews spoke out about this and that might be even more important than the many many women speaking out. It proves that it can happen to any person at any time, not just women.
It’s important to remember that no matter how you act, dress or talk it is NOT your fault that the assault or abuse happened to you. You are strong and vibrant and you can bounce back from this awful experience. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worth it. You are worth so much more than that experience and I hope the person that did it to you feels awful every single day remembering their actions.
My advice is to seek help and guidance on how to approach the whole situation. Talk to family and friends and maybe even a doctor if it’s particularly bad. It’s time we all stuck together and normalise the topic so that it happens less. The less victims the better, it won’t happen overnight, but we can get there if we keep talking about it and speaking out about what is wrong.