Overnight, the #metoo movement exploded on social media.
It started with a post and hashtag by actress Alyssa Milano and is designed to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The timing is not accidental. It comes as Metropolitan Police in London investigate a series of sexual assault claims against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
I am a #metoo.
Too many of us are.
What it’s like to be a rape survivor
As a survivor, I constantly look over my shoulder. I am hyper-vigilant, determined to never be the ‘victim’ again.
For the longest time, I never felt “clean enough.”
Being a victim of sexual harassment and sexual assault leaves a life-long scar that never fades. It’s wondering if you are capable of being loved or if anyone could love a ‘damaged’ person.
Today, I wait for the nearest store parking spot at night. I park only under street lights. I carry a key with a light and pepper spray.
I still quickly jump into my van and lock the doors. Other survivors say they do too. My sexual assault happened over 11 years ago.
Awareness and reaction
The #metoo movement is doing more than just showing the magnitude of the problem. But it’s also making it clear that victims struggle with a diverse range of reactions and challenges.
For example, some women are saying they regret not reporting their abusers.
Another woman reminds social media that it’s never the survivor’s fault:
Six years later, Sarah Monahan is relieved the topic is getting seen.
Survivors don’t want to be called victims. Instead they want us to share how we reacted, how we survived and how we wish we reacted.
Are you a survivor?
If you are a #metoo, and don’t think you have a place to turn or need to talk to another #metoo, feel free to flood my inbox: firstname.lastname@example.org.