#Metoo: My Story Of Recovery

By R.G.

Seven years ago I was sexually assaulted.

I don’t owe anyone a story and I still have difficulty assessing what happened.

My story is not sensational. It did not make headlines. But yes, it happened and it is important to share.

I was in an emotionally manipulative and sexually abusive relationship. I waited and waited for his affirmation of what happened in order to validate my experience, but it never seemed to come. 

When he did finally admit to it, it didn’t really change what he did or my experience of the abuse. I still struggled with suicidal thoughts, severe depression and PTSD. I was hyper-vigilant even with the “no contact” order that he didn’t seem to give a shit about.

I still victim-blamed myself. I thought I was wrong and didn’t share what happened to me with the people I loved most because I was so terrified and ashamed.

Seven years of healing, and still more work to do

It has now been seven years of healing from trauma.

My trauma has opened doors for healing my whole body, mind and soul. I discovered yoga and meditation and moved to Thailand to heal. I broke open and went through a depression/awakening as I delved into my childhood experiences.

I hit rock bottom multiple times.



I learned to put myself first.

I can now validate my own experience of violation in my body without needing to ask others whether it was abuse or not.

I also discovered an abundance of support and love in this world for me.

I learned that my empathetic and loving nature could be open and risk vulnerability again. I attracted a kind and loving man, someone who truly understands what it means to patient and supportive.

I am constantly relearning how to love myself, protect myself and be authentic and true to myself.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey, who has helped me to accept who I am, who has wiped tears from my face, held my hand through the journey or just messaged me to show their support. I love you all.

There are still days when I worry I might run into my abuser, and fear that he might harm me.

I still feel sad about what happened to me, but I am becoming stronger and more courageous.

Let us end rape culture, together.

This was written by a friend who agreed to let me lightly edit and post it on my blog, using her initials.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 11, 2017, in rape and sexual assault and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. When I read this article, it reminded me a bit of myself. I used to be in a very toxic relationship, not abusive but very toxic. After 3 years I realized that I have to do what’s best for myself. This article does not only encourage people but shows males and females to never put yourself in a relationship where you are going to be physical and emotional pain. Rape and sexual harassment happens to both men and women and most of the time, the victim does not do anything about it because they are afraid that something bad might happen. Reading this article makes me think about how many people are going through a toxic/ abusive relationship and I hope that they find the strength to stand up for themselves. The author of the article is so brave for sharing her story with us and I hope she knows that sharing her story has an impact on so many people.

  2. You’re an amazing and brave individual. Thank you for sharing your story! Any kind of abuse is sickening. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry for the abuse and trauma you had to deal with. It’s a really sad and traumatizing experience that no one should ever have to experience. Now a days, it seems as if society doesn’t carry rape culture seriously. It’s a critical topic that seems to get brushed under the rug. For example, rapists are released within a couple months. That’s disgusting and shameful. How is that even possible? How is it that Brock Turner is a free man. There is enough evidence to keep him behind bars but he’s not. Judge Aaron Persky granted him freedom after a three month sentence. It’s unbelievable! I can’t even imagine the pain the victim feels. She was brave enough to share her experience and she was humiliated in front of the world. I respect those who are brave enough to share their experiences. She’s a brave soul! As a society, we must come together and make abuse and rape culture a priority. I’m thankful for being part of this blog assignment and Broad Blogs. I appreciate everyone for sharing and bringing this topic to attention.

  3. When I read this article, I remind my one of the close friend. My friend was really open minds, positive, and laugh a lot. However, when she was 19, her ex-boyfriend did sexual and moral harassment. She became slowly mental sick which harm her so much. She did not often go out, did not laugh, and always apologized for everything even though that was not her fault. At first, I was not able to notice what he did to her. He looked so calm, friendly, and treated her well. However, his personality was totally opposite. Why I found she got moral and sexual harassment from him because she lost her weight too much. At first, she told me she worked out so hard even though she was not fat at all. After her 20th birthday, my other friends and I tried to celebrate her birthday, so I asked her ex-boyfriend that we wanted to have time with only her because every time her ex-boyfriend wanted to spend time with us. (That is crazy I think.) I could not forget the time that when my friends and I asked her that she is happy or not. She was crying and told us that she wanted to break up with him, but he did not accept it. Then he kept hit her or raped her. I was so mad at that time, and I told her to call the police, but she refused it because she felt so shame. I know it is difficult to say that people who got some sexual abuse or rape. However, I believe if people become more careful to see other people, then it is going to be better than now. Three months ago, she got married to another guy who is nice, and she said she is happy now. She told me that she realized that she should not hide that she was unhappy when she saw we were mad and crying so hard for her.

  4. I thought that you are very brave for posting about your sexual abuse history. I feel as though I have been hearing more and more about recent sexual assaults, and it is very upsetting. I feel as though both women and men should not be afraid or embarrasssed to speak out about their experience in today’s society. More people need to speak up, so that the world can become more aware of how serious this topic is and how often it really does occur. I have personally known people from school who were sexually assaulted, and most people decided to make jokes out of it. Rape and sexual assault should not be thrown to the side as a joke, but instead such victims should be comfortable to share their experience in a welcoming and understanding environment. I am really glad that even through the horrors you faced, you were still able to find true love and trust. I do hope that those who do such horrible acts will soon come to their senses and help to eliminate this terror that we all face.

  5. Hello, I came to US last year from South Korea and I don’t know that much about culture in America. But I think these insane cases have been happening all over the world over time regardless of cultural difference. We have been watching and hearing news about sexual abuse. But, whenever those issues came out, I couldn’t see clear ‘legal standard’ to punish those offenders. Honestly, I even saw some people judging those victims, not the offender. They say, “It might be the victim’s fault to make the offender think to commit a crime by wearing immodest clothes”. Plus, like your friend’s case, people tend to judge women more easily than men if something bad happens after breakup. Because of these illogical way of thinking, those problems are expected to continue to happen. Based on my own research, every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. However, the worst thing seems to be that it’s long-term effect for victims. 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape, 30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape, and 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide. We are living in the 21th century where all the people agree on the fact that it’s not right. We agree that a person cannot harm others, and the others cannot harm the person because that’s one of the biggest reasons why government exists. For the first time in my life, I’m trying to know more about women and as a college student, I’m taking a class, “introduction to women’s study” this quarter. I hope I can learn what I need to learn from there because I now think men also need to spend time to understand more about women, especially when we try to take an approach to political issues like women’s right.

    * Source

    “Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics.” RAINN, Sexual Assault Service Providers, 2018, https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence.

  6. I was really drawn to this article because a lot of women and men are sexually abused, raped or have been violated in many ways and no one really talks about it because people are ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it because they blame themselves. The more people talk about it the more people can come together to support one another and be told it is OK to tell your story. As sad as this is it is a big thing that happens in the world and no one should be sheltered to themselves to seek for help. I love that you spoke about your experience and what you did to recover because some people still deal with it today and are lost in themselves and mentally broken down or are 10 feet under because it drove them crazy. We need more outlets like this because we all need each other so we can be a listening ear or offer to help one another. Abuse is something that we should even teach our kids about and this is something that teachers do not teach in school but we should take the step to teach children in this generation to speak up because fear will not help them. I really love this article and thank you for sharing.

  7. I have also suffered from sexual abuse that happened in my childhood. I was 5 years old when I realized that what was happening was wrong, so I told my parents which brought it to an end. I am grateful to my parents for protecting me, but I also wish that they had talked to me more about it or handled it differently. I felt shame and guilt for years. It wasn’t until the end of high school that I started processing what had happened and how negatively it had impacted my confidence and my love for myself. It wasn’t until then that I started to forgive myself for what happened and I stopped blaming myself for it. It took until my junior year of college to finally be able to talk out loud about what had happened and share my story for the first time. While it was difficult to talk about, it really helped me feel like I was finally starting to heal. I hope that we, as a society and a community, can continue talking about sex and rape culture so that we can be brave, heal, and change.

  8. I’ve been a victim of sexual assault, rape and abuse since I was a child. I was abused multiple times as a child by a family member but was too scared to ever too anyone about it and I didn’t realize how deeply it affected me until I became a bit older. I’ve never been one for touchy-feelyness, I don’t like hugs, I don’t like close contact especially with family it still makes me shudder and pull away. I’d love to be able to hug the people I care about without feeling anxious and sick but it’s still very hard for me and this has been an issue I’ve been working on since I was 6 years old and I am now almost 30. When I was 22 a long time good friend of mine and I were drinking and celebrating his return from out of country, I got too drunk and he took full advantage of it and raped me, again assaulted by someone who I was close too and trusted. After this incident I completely distanced myself from him and refused to date or see people for almost 8 years. Recently at a previous job I was sexually assaulted at work, when I reported it to my supervisor I was told to keep my mouth shut and deal with it and not make a scene or I wouldn’t be fired.(I was working at a casino for a second party and was told the Casino staff would have my company fire me if I complained.) The Me Too movement is so important for me and makes me feel so much better now that people, Important people are starting to speak out and make it clear how horrible it is that things happen and that these experiences stay with you and traumatize you, it’s not something you just get over, and sometimes you might never get over the trauma.

  9. I think it must have take the person a lot of courage to write an article retracting her experience after being sexual abused and I respect her for that. I feel sympathetic towards her story and am happy for her that she is at a better stage of her life now. Sexual assault experiences take a long time to heal and climb out of and the fact that she is still sometimes grieving about the incident seven years later proved that. Her story inspired me to not look for affirmation in others for myself. One should always love themselves before letting someone else love them. From the story, victims of sexual assault should always remember to talk to people close to them about the incident in order to better mend from the trauma. Friends and family members around the victim should always be ready to mentally and physically help her or him out.

  10. I like the way this blog post brings an experience of sexual abuse and creates a social message regarding rape culture. While I do think this type of culture is become shamed more and more, the form of culture still appears to be happening in college in the US. Like everything, there is two sides for everything. From a young age. Boy are surrounded with the idea that “boys will be boys.” They are also taught to display less emotions. So in a way, there is a terrible cycle of men becoming abusive do their upbringing. However, I don’t think this is an excuse that there must be someone who must end the cycle. Stereotypes are terrible can cause an impact on both women and men. This blog post reminds me of a student exhibit where rape victims displays the clothes they wore before they were raped. This exhibit was to answer “what did you wear?” when a person is raped. It is a terrible excuse to blame it on something as measly as clothes.

  11. This is very sad, and I think the change in behavior for this starts at the earliest stage. I think that children, both male and female, should learn about relational economics at an elementary school level, just so that it is drilled in to their minds, how to treat other people. Most of the times that this happens, the people have been raised in unstable households and therefore do not understand the dynamics of healthy relationships. If education is revamped to include it in younger children’s lives, I think it could do a world of difference in stopping these kinds of events in the long run.

    I am very sorry to hear the story of the author and I hope one day s/he/they is able to find peace and love in a healthy way. These stories do a world of good in unveiling the truth of gender disparity and show to indifferent or unexperienced people that there is much pain and suffering in the world and everyone can play a part in making a positive impact.

  12. Thank you for sharing her story, my heart aches for anyone subject to sexual harassment, male or female. She is so brave and strong to have fought this long and hard to overcome such an unfortunate experience. I am so sorry to know that so many girls have similar experiences all too often but she is an inspiration to us all and especially for other people who have similar experiences. She provides hope for better days, and awareness to sexual harassment. I am sad to live in a world where a culture where rape is so common and vow to promote prevention and support anyone who needs a hand.
    Sexual harassment is something I have thought about a lot over the last year since I just finished my first year in college. It is something all women should be aware of to know some ways to try to prevent it if the situation allows. I have never really been exposed to a lot of knowledge about sexual harassment before college but have found seminars about prevention and other resources so helpful in becoming aware. It is something I myself am very fearful of especially with going out on weekends in a party type scene, I always try to stay with a buddy all night and I really try to be aware what is happening around me for other girls too. It can be a difficult thing to prevent but knowledge of precautions to take and how to know a relationship is toxic can prevent a tragic situation.
    I wish her the best of luck in continuing to heal, finding self-love and experiencing life the best way she can. I hope her experience can be a light for others too.

  13. I cannot thank you enough for sharing. I am so proud and happy you are healing and recovering. I can only imagine how difficult and hard of a process that can be. As I have been growing and learning about this crazy world, I am realizing that everyone has their own struggles and things in life they are dealing with. That is why this #MeToo movement is so amazing and so inspirational. Women (and men) banding together and supporting one another is powerful. Not only for the movement and awareness but for emotional support of one another. Knowing you are not alone, or that other people have had similar experiences and have made it through is powerful and inspirational. I love how many celebrities have come forward and are making a huge change in the world right now with their individual platforms. One of the stories that really hit home for me was that of Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman and the numerous others that came forward against their abuser Larry Nassar. Larry worked as the physician at Michigan State for the athletes and I myself am a collegiate athlete and have to see doctors all the time. It is beyond saddening and terrifying to know that you truly have to be cautious and careful everywhere you are and speak up if you EVER feel uncomfortable. These women coming forward have brought attention to this cause and have changed how future operations are being handled at the collegiate level and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for protected myself and future athletes.

  14. Thank you for sharing your experience. I too have been raped. You are very strong for being able to admit it to yourself and talk about what happened to you. I have read many accounts similar to yours because since being raped I have found it comforting to read that other survivors have made it through and are recovering. One thing that I always read in articles like this is that women always question the validity of their rape or abuse. I think that society has come to believe that rape is generally bad but cannot always agree on the definition of rape. Everyone can seem to agree that violent stranger rape in a dark alley is bad but what about being raped by a friend, boyfriend, or classmate? I believe the questionable definition of rape has been used in a way to reaffirm victim blaming. I did not report my rape or get a rape kit because I did not want others to question me nor the crime that I knew was done to me. The first thing a lot of survivors think once coming to terms with what has happened is how others will react. This is important because despite all survivors having very valid and unique experiences, most cases do not make headlines or end with the rapist getting convicted. In your piece you wrote, “My story is not sensational. It did not make headlines. But yes, it happened and it is important to share”. I find this line so important because this is what most rape and other forms of sexual violence look like. So thank you for sharing your story so that hopefully we can change the societal definition of rape and make it more inclusive for the most common forms of such a heinous crime.

  15. Artrea Williams

    Thank you for sharing your story, I hope you continue to be strong and heal from what he has caused. I am glad that you were able to write about your experience because it can also help someone else who might be in a similar situation. Sometimes, people do not even heal from situations like this, so to hear that your friend is amazing. I hope that she finds peace within herself again and is truly able to not blame herself. It is heartbreaking  hearing stories like these, and the road to recovery is hard, there is no map of how quick it can be. Everyone deserves to be in a happy and positive relationship that is not hurtful, but loving.  This is such an inspirational story of someone who is brave. She genuinely shared the story to open her heart and help other women and maybe some men men who have gone through the same thing. 

  16. It is to my greatest sadness to to hear about what happened, but I commend your friend for the strength that she had gathered to share her story. I hope that more and more people can become inspired by this courageous post, and share their stories to aid them in the process of returning to who they will, should, and wanted to be before such a sad experience. I am ashamed to be living in a world where rape culture has even become an idea! Anything such as slut-shaming, victim blaming, and sexual objectification is so depressing to even here about it. Thank you for the inspiring read, and I hope that I can also aid in defeating such terrible concepts that the human race has created.

  17. Renata Ingram

    I am so sorry to hear of another story of heartbreak and abuse. Although I am not a victim I am sad to say that it still has hit too close to home for me. In elementary school, I had made a friend who later became my best friend, Maria. Maria and I had so much in common; both of us came from struggling Hispanic households with many relatives and we both grew up in the same neighborhood, on the same street actually. What hits too close to home was that one day that Maria and her family were no longer on the same street as I, she no longer was the same Maria. It was the day Maria confessed to me that she was raped by her uncle. Her mom’s brother. I remember feeling violated myself just at the thought that Maria and I used to always play at her house, where this uncle also lived. I ask myself, how wasn’t that me too?! I cried for Maria, I hurt with Maria and for her mother, since it was her own brother who raped Maria. Her family broke apart after she had he strength to speak. Now with the Me Too movement, I see that these victim’s, experiencing any kind of abuse, still have a strong voice and still have power to speak and be heard, not just to help heal, but to strengthen other’s ahead of time. I thank their strength and light to speak and hear of their stories of recovery. It gives me hope for my Maria, who has moved on, but now shouldn’t feel alone or weak/powerless anymore.

  18. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you continue to heal from these wounds.
    While it is tragic that a movement like #metoo exists, I am happy to see that it is taking such a prominent stance in the mainstream media with politicians, actresses, and every day women speaking out about their experiences and confronting their assaulters. It is refreshing to see women speak out even when doing so can potentially ruin everything they’ve worked for. I hope that exposure to young adults continues (13 Reasons Why, etc.) so that young boys and girls learn this behavior is unacceptable. I saw posters up in the bathroom at the local community college that talked about active consent and I hope this continues to be taught in schools. As the mother of a 7 month old, I pray this is something my daughter will never have to face, but I will arm her with the knowledge and tools to stand up for herself and others.

  19. Every time I read stories like these, my heart aches and warms up inside. I absolutely adore that your friend was able to strengthen, love, and validate herself after such a traumatic experience. I know so many people who have been raped by people closest to them as young girls and still struggle with loving themselves, and I always hope that as they have grown into the beautiful people that they are, that they see themselves how I see them. I have never been sexually assaulted but have dealt with different forms of harassment and it’s still hard for me to process and respond in a way for me to positively react. I think it is so easy to invalidate the discomfort and pain we feel when it comes to these situations. As someone who not only despises conflict, and struggles with anxiety disorder, confronting the people who make me feel unsafe, whether they intend to or not, is extremely terrifying to me. When reading this story, it gives me hope that I can stand up against my fears, as well as gives me hope for my friends who have experienced the unacceptable act of being raped.

  20. This was truly a beautiful post. To heal from a traumatic experience such as this is sometimes not attainable at all. The constant fear as the author mentions, is always there and can be an anchor to ones self healing and actualization. We see in a lot of cases of rape, abuse, and torment from relationships that there is a lot of self blame of the situation. I was once knew someone who was raped at a very young age and for a long time struggled with the memories, and nightmares of what had happened. There was a lot of times where she wanted to commit suicide, run away, or just disappear. It is the best thing to see someone overcome the situation the way the author did. Sadly, the person I knew never fully recovered and to this day is not in good shape, but she continues to move on with life and will slowly but surely achieve the ultimate goal of healing. Time and healing unfortunately can never overcome fully what the horrors and utter evil that some men do to women, but there is always support from others that keeps us going. We are our best friends and our worst enemies.

  21. The #Metoo article discusses a personal story of emotional and sexual trauma, and the recovery process the individual is still going through several years later. The abused individual need the affirmation of what happened from the abuser, which is painful in its self. Then the abuser affirmed them, but didn’t respect boundaries which were set “no contact” order. The individual went through depression, suicidal thoughts, and PTSD. In this struggle, they found healing in mediation and in another location. They had to break apart to be built anew once more. They’ve found support, love, validation, and courage in their self. Despite having been abused the individual shows resilience and determination to not be defined by their trauma, but grow out of it into their self. This testimony is true for many women. The shame and embarrassment of their abuse doesn’t allow healing because they are isolated and condemned. But those who find their strength to live outside their abuse do prosper and continue their life even with the trauma scar still in their minds, or on their bodies.

  22. Hello, I found this posting moved me in a very personal way as I too have been a victim of sexual assault. Although I did not always remember my trauma, I started remembering around the time I was ten years old. As a child, I imagine my mind blocked the events that happened to me as it was too terrible and traumatic for me. Being a victim leaves a lot more scars than one thinks. It affected my relationships, my ability to show love and affection, and my own thoughts about myself and what I was worth. Of course when something like this happens one always thinks, why me ? You answered this question with such insight that i applaud you. Reading what you learned about yourself reflects also what i learned about me too. Although it took time, after all these years I know that I am only stronger and that I have much more to be grateful and happy for.

  23. Chinwe Idika

    I hope that she finds peace within herself. It is absolutely disgusting that rape culture and abusive relations have been normalized to the extent that it has. And in a movement that I personally identify, I feel the pain and sadness that comes with the realization that I am a statistic. It is commendable that she was able to leave an abusive relationship because it is so incredibly difficult to do so. A lot of these relationships end up becoming long-term challenges because it is almost possible to gauge how the partner will react if you leave. I have many friends who had dealt with abusive partners and it is truly heartbreaking.

    I myself have been sexually harassed multiple times. One time it happened on the light rail, and I was so infuriated that I called the police on the man and he was luckily arrested after he deboarded. However, other people who have faced similar experiences may not be so lucky. Some aggressor may live among us in our households, maybe our bosses, our educators…I just found out my middle school track coach was a child molester alongside his brother. This is an epidemic that won’t go away unless we continue to break the silence.

  24. I found this blog about a person’s rape recovery journey one of hope and courage that will definitely help others, an amazing post. I’m so very sorry that you had to go through such a terrible experience R.G. yet with all the comments you have to know that your story has touched many hearts. Your courage has and will continue to help so many. A much publicized “#Metoo” movement has so many speaking out about the horrendous acts of sexual abuse, assault, harassment. Men and woman are speaking out to spread awareness. Oprah Winfrey in her acceptance speech on January 7th at the Golden Globes stated these resounding words that will always be remembered “inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.” She continued, “But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.”

  25. Personally, I really wanted to comment on this post because it is rather relatable. I was sexually assaulted for the first time when I was 15. I was heartbroken because it was by someone that I trusted with my life. They took that trust and destroyed it along with my body. I was beaten and broken. I could barely physically walk. My brain blocked it out of all memory until I began to dive into the second time I was assaulted, when I was 17. The second time wasn’t as bad in some ways, but was worse in others. The second time was also by one person I trusted, and two other people I didn’t know until that night. I don’t remember a lot of the second time, due to the mixture of alcohol and drugs in my system. As I began to work through it, I remembered the first time. It hit me like a freight train. All of the emotions that came up with it and that come up with it whenever I talk about it.

  26. That was an incredibly tender blog post to read. The journey of recovery after trauma has no road map or guide book. I am curious how, as women, we have an instinct to hate and blame ourselves for abuse that we ultimately had no control over. How and when did we learn to “hate” ourselves when we were the victims? Is this a result of some biological self sacrificing hardwiring? It fascinates (and pains) me that shame and feelings of anger after abuse/trauma are directed towards ourselves, as though we wanted this to happen or could have foreseen things a little better to avoid it happening in the first place.

    I am so thankful for the MeToo movement, and am grateful to be alive to witness a step in advancing rights for women. Breaking the silence on misconduct that we have otherwise been conditioned to keep secret is crucial for creating change.

  27. Hello. Thank you for sharing this powerful, personal post. I’m sure that this post will give another person the courage to speak the about their unjust experience. While reading your words I could feel your energy through the words you were saying. I believe that there are so many more untold stories that need to be told. I’m glad that you took the trip to Thailand and found some peace so that you could continue to heal. I’m joyous that you took time for yourself because you are precious and important. You deserve to be happy and have positive relationships that aren’t hurtful. This brings to mind two experiences I’ve had that shouldn’t have occurred. It’s fresh in my mind even though I was a young girl. But this post is about supporting you! Continue your journey to wellness!

  28. One of the biggest markers of the giant divide in equality in our society (both in America and as a whole) is that almost every woman you will ever meet has some sort of traumatic story or incident where a male made them feel unsafe in some way (ranging anywhere from harassment to actual assault). I am a relatively privileged white cisgender woman, living in a wealthy, liberal/progressive community but I have multiple of my own experiences (and I’m not even thirty so who knows how many more I will accrue in my lifetime). I encourage anyone who is skeptical, or feels threatened by the #MeToo movement to ask the women in their lives about their own stories, because they are bound to have them. One of the most important facets to ending rape culture is male accountability, especially when the accountability occurs in all male settings. These cycles of toxic masculinity and toxic sexual attitudes towards women are most often perpetuated in all-male settings behind closed doors (the “locker room” scenario). It can be the hardest step to take as a male to step outside of the expected social role within a group mindset and bring attention to words, actions or attitudes that are morally wrong. I always think of a personal example: seeing a male friend of mine receive a picture from another male friend of a woman taken without her permission. That friend of mine, although it was probably socially awkward for him, immediately berated his friend for violating that woman’s trust, and made it clear that he wouldn’t put up with that kind of behavior. There are of course much larger forces at play encompassing the problems around rape culture, but it is also small acts of social accountability like this that will slowly break us out of our current negative social cycles.

  29. budmanbrady1953

    Emmett Till,Mack Lee Parker=#MeToo!!!!!!

  30. #Metoo
    This is such an important and close to home post to me because, I am working through my own sequence of events that led to a moment that I can almost not recall because I was so completely out of my senses that it felt like an out of body experience. My personal response was that of anger, anger at myself for letting myself feel that I was safe enough to let my guard down. I’d known this person for over ten years he was my friend. We met one day to just talk and one thing led to another I was a couple drinks in and ready to leave when he offered to walk me home. I clearly expressed the fact that he was not to come inside. The bits I remember due to the fact that I blacked out most of the occurrences were of me snapping into realization and panicking. I have lost my trust in people and worst of all I’m angry at myself, while reading through a lot of the #MeToo posts I realized that a lot of people felt that very same way, and questioned why they didn’t blame their abuser.

  31. Wow, this just made me realize as a mother that this is terrifying. This is such an inspirational story of someone who is brave, genuinely shared the story to open her heart and help other women and including men who have gone through sexual abuse. In every single family there is one or more people who have experienced this and not willing to speak up. Shame, sadness, depression, and hitting bottom is what it takes most of the victims, and we need to stop this. I am very grateful I was able to read this because it makes me realize that women and men are sexually assaulted even by people in their own families, and other types of relationships. I believe that by speaking up like a friend did in middle school has helped her overcome little by little. She was 13 years old and in 8th grade and she went through something that I was not able to understand at that time, but she is still trying to overcome. That person never received the appropriate support from her family and neither the counseling from school. Until today, she has still felt ashamed to speak about it publicly, but I believe that if I share this story with her as many others, hopefully she realizes that it is much needed to help others out there and save lives just like this story. This type of stories can save lives and make others feel that they are not alone and they are been heard by other victims.

  32. Geawna Kalaya Hernandez

    Thank you for sharing this courageous story with us.

    There are so many women who go through these horrible experiences and I am glad that more and more are speaking out. Our world needs to know what we go through! The entire ‘Time’s Up’ movement is incredible. Whenever I hear how the stories of women from every background, every career field, every age, it reminds me that it doesn’t make you a bad person just because this happened to you. I think the ‘Times Up’ movement is doing an impeccable job of reminding women that it is not their fault! The movement is helping remind women that none of them are alone, and that’s what great. The blog mentioned how this courageous woman still victim-blames herself. I think we as a society of women need to remind those who have gone through this trauma that it is going to be okay and that we are here for them. We are here to listen, to help, to comfort, and just to be here for the down trips.

    Recently, more than 150 women have spoke out of the trauma that Larry Nassar put them through. Although it hurts to know that he was able to torture 150 women, it’s great knowing that he is now paying for what he did. I don’t know about any of you, but Judge Rosemarie Aquilina did what needed to be done! She did her job as a judge, as a citizen, as a human being, and as a strong woman!
    These are the women we need to be like! We need to stand up for what is right even when no one else does. Judge Aquilina reminded the world that men like this need no mercy! These 150 women who experienced this horrible thing also need to be reminded how strong they are. Not only for coming forward, but also for acknowledging the pain they went through. These women are reminding women everywhere that you are not alone and that justice will be served.

    Please know that you’re no alone and that this issue has come to light. The world is now changing to help women, who went through these difficult times, get through the pain. Starting with you!

  33. First off may I say I am so sorry for this abuse you had to endure. Secondly I want to commend you for speaking out on this subject. I truly believe the #MeToo movement is amazing and bringing such positive results for the women who have been sexually abused and/or harassed. By speaking out we are showing the world the magnitude of the problem. The phrase has been posted on line millions of times accompanied by a personal story of abuse or assault.

    Because of this #MeToo Congress bill which was revealed by the House on January 18, 2018 as an amendment to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995. The purpose of this bill is to change how the legislative branch of U.S. federal government treats sexual harassment complaints. Under the old system, complaints took months of counseling and mediation before a complaint could actually be filed. Any settlement would be paid by tax money, The bill ensure future complaints could only take up to 180 days to be filed . Staffers could transfer to a different department or work away from the presence of the alleged harasser without losing their jobs if they requested it. The bill would also require Representatives and Senators to pay for their own harassment settlements. In addition the the Office of Compliance would not longer be allowed to keep settlements secret, and would be required to publicly publish the settlement amounts and associated employing offices.

    This is but one example of the good coming from the movement. No longer do women need to sit in silence over this epidemic of sexual abuse. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it shines brighter every day. Thank you to all who have come forward and stood up for themselves. May our daughters futures be safe and promising.

  34. Amazing. It takes such courage and bravery to share an experience as traumatic as this. It is women like you, that allows others to see that they are not alone. I have read and heard so many stories of women that blame themselves for the sexual assault. They think, had I not worn that, had I not said that, if only I hadn’t acted like that…no matter what, it is never the victims fault. I am so proud and honored to be a woman right now more than ever. Women have felt brave enough to begin to speak up and shed light on sexual abuse. Recently, several USA gymnasts have come forward with horrific accounts of how they were sexually assaulted by the team physician. A couple months ago, NBCs “Today Show” news anchor, Matt Lauer, was fired because of sexual harassment allegations. It is utterly disgusting how these men have completely abused their “superiority” power. I want to thank you so very much for sharing your story. If I could say one thing it would be to never feel ashamed, but feel proud because you have now paved the way for other women like myself to finally feel comfortable enough to say, Me Too.

  35. This is such an amazing post and so important for people to hear. Sometimes, it is hard to distinguish the world that we are living in at that moment, and to know right from wrong when we are being held captive by a mentally abusive person. The only way we can come out of situations like this ad recognize what is occurring is if we are educated to always remain vigilant and recognize the signs and red flags of these lessons from women before us. Many women can relate to this feeling of guilt and it is of utmost importance to stop blaming yourself to find healing and peace. Thank you for sharing this story in hopes to help other women who are going though the same issues. Though these stories are hard to share, it is people like you who have had experience who are the best advocates for educating women everywhere on these issues of abuse against women.

  36. This is such an important topic that women and men need to share. Most women I know have been abused and I was one of the unlucky ones to experience it. I actually suffered abuse by one of the people your supposed to think would never harm you and are the ones to protect you from the world as a child, a parent. My mom divorced my dad when we were small and I never had any real recollection of him, save a memory of him bathing me as a child in a apartment he had after my parents split up. I remember my mom always never saying anything bad about him to us when were growing up (I have a younger sister) and when we got old enough, (about 10 years old) we kept asking my mom about him and she agreed to let us start seeing him and have a relationship with this stranger who was my father. If I had known what I know now, I never would have wanted to foster that relationship with him. My mom left my father because he was abusive and schizophrenic. When we started to see him, he had remarried and he had two boys with his new wife. One weekend we went to stay with him and his wife was out of town. My mom did not know this, and this is when he abused me. It is something that I lived with for so long and felt like it was my fault for a very long time and affected my personal relationships with potential partners. It’s hard to come back from abuse and feel worthy of love. I still find it difficult to trust people because of what he did, but am learning that I did nothing wrong and that he is just a horribly, sick person. Not all men and fathers are sick, just mine was and is not a reflection on me as a person, in my eyes he is not a father, just a sperm donor.

  37. I wanted to start off by saying thank you for sharing your story, as I know it can be very difficult to even come to terms with. I know the conflicts that come with the process of healing from such a damaging event, so you are truly a brave soul for sharing your story. All throughout my life, I’ve been hearing stories of people blaming themselves for what had happened to them. Instead of blaming the person who raped them, they blamed themselves. Society has placed a great deal on how someone dresses and correlates that with the person getting raped. Along with that, we are told that we were at the wrong place at the wrong time. We also get told that our choice to have fun or get into a relationship is the reason why were more susceptible to get raped. All of these theories basically point to the victim. But it is never your fault, it never was your fault. Instead of teaching people to act, dress, or even behave a certain way, society should teach people the importance of consent and the consequences that come with it if any borders were crossed. I am happy that you found peace with yourself and that you’re relearning the definition of self-love. Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story, as it really did help me and definitely others.

  38. To the author: thank you so much for sharing your story in such a detailed way. I really felt your pain and uncertainty. All too often I hear rape and assault victims blame themselves or wonder if their experience “counts.” We get entirely too wrapped up in legal definitions of rape and assault and spiral into doubt and misery because of it. Aggressors hide behind those definitions and use them to their advantage. In our American culture, we need to begin emphasizing those actions which escalate into assault; we know that rape jokes and the all-too-familiar attitude of “boys will be boys” will continue on to groping and harassment, and teaching that self-defense and dressing conservatively will protect someone is extremely one-sided. I’m very happy for you that you found peace with what happened. I only hope that future generations have the confidence to enact true prevention.

  39. It takes courage to share your experience and I’m truly sorry that you had to go through this experience in your life. It really bothers me that a person can sexually abuse someone else just because they know they are stronger than the person they abuse otherwise, I think they wouldn’t even try. No one should ever feel guilty, because IT IS NEVER THEIR FAULT! I just can’t imagine the pain you went through and it makes me happy that your now stronger and liberated. Don’t live in FEAR of encountering your oppressor just try to forgive him. Forgiving it is not easy, I know, but when you forgive you will feel a huge burden lifted from your shoulders. Stay strong!

  40. First of all, thank you for sharing your story. You are more than a survivor. You are a liberator for many women out there who question the validity of their abuse. There are women who don’t yet realize that they are actually being vehemently abused. They have been manipulated into thinking this is all they’re worth. To be objects and not human, that we are not worthy of a healthy love. That this is the best you’ll ever get. Lies and more lies!

    I am so proud of you, and other women who have stood up as a part of the #MeToo movement! As a woman who was also violated as a teen, as well as harassed as an adult, it’s not easy to struggle through sexual abuse. So often, we fall into depression, guilt, shame and blame. It took me years to realize that I am not defined by what happened to me. It does not control me. I am much more than my tragedies. I am much more than a survivor. I am free. Thank you again!

  41. I don’t think many people realize how wide spread sexual harassment and rape really is simply because people kept it hidden for years because of the feared consequences of speaking out. as for the subject of sexual harassment, it’s too broad a term because there are things that relate to harassment that are not even sexual in nature. it happens to men too but when it happens to men the statistics are much lower than with women and men aren’t the only sexual predators. there are some women out there that commit this aweful crime and we seem to focus soley on the male perpitrators with very little reporting on female perpitrators. I’m sorry but that’s just how I see it and that’s just how it is.

    • I’m glad that we are becoming more aware of sexual harassment.

      And whether the harassment is sexual or not — in which case I guess it would just be general bullying — I believe it’s important for our culture to become non-bullying and more loving.

  42. Sharing will hopefully encourage others to do so as well. And make the world a little bit safer.

  43. I’m sorry your friend went through this and is still suffering. The sad part is it’s all too common.

  44. I never understood this campaign completely.

    • I hope this will help you to understand.

      When the campaign started my husband said he’d had no idea how widespread the problems of sexual attacks, ranging from harassment to rape, are. Hopefully it will help men to see how the women they love have suffered.

      • Thanks for your reply.

        About our subject, I will explain. But I would like to say before, that once I was asked by a lady friend of mine to escort her after a lecture somewhere in our city center. I didn’t understand why. So I asked her. She answered that men whistle and bother her. It was a new discovery for me. I realised that I live in a different sphere and it was a cultural shock for me.

        My question is about the method and the aims of the campaign of #MeToo. Although I discovered that women suffer from certain behaviour it did not cause me yet to become a declerd feminist or act differently towards women.

        Moreover, I don’t yet believe in equality. And I believe that one of the ways for men to become successful is through having many women: A people think the are successful. B. The get ideas, connections and recommendations from the women they sleep with. And I believe that many men break the law in that subject, and the women as a crowd play along and not only the men.

        I stopped believing in justice, and started to believe in energy and energy relations. Always people will suffer, and my aim is to help my feelings/interests, and sometimes it convergences together with another human being for the benefit of both of us. Justice for me is what the powerful decide.

      • Why don’t you believe in equality? I know many women who are clearly superior to many men in terms of their intelligence, empathy, ability to survive… I know many women who are far more evolved than many men… And early cultures seem to have been gender-equal, in the time before patriarchy.

        Some people study personal and cultural evolution. The evolution of any culture is the average of the evolution of the persons within the society. Each person at higher stages has gone through all of the others. Here’s how it goes:

        Stages of evolution (a bit simplified here):

        Lowest is egocentric. I just care about me.

        Next is ethnocentric. I care about me and mine. The moral view at this stage is thought of as “might makes right.” So this seems to be the stage you are at. (Although you could still be grounded in egocentrism.)

        The next stage cares about me, mine, and others. It comes with the scientific worldview. (Maybe it comes with science because you move from a localized world-view to a universal world view: science/math work the same everywhere). Notice how the technological revolution brought with it a successful anti-slavery movement and woman’s movement. At this stage the “powers that be” have enough empathy to care about the suffering of others. So powerful white men who had evolved to this stage helped make sure women could vote and helped end slavery. The United Nations was created instead of constant war.

        Next is actually experiencing oneness with others. High empathy/expansive love. When others are hurt you feel hurt too. Desire good for everyone, and work for the good of all.

      • I don’t believe in equality because I was not yet convinced that there is a need for that or that I am obliged to this idea.

        Some people say that some women are smarter then men, so why should they not deserve equality? My humble opinion is: I do agree that many women are smarter then men. I actually have no problem with that. I like smart woman, at least I can speak with them, and the smarter, the better. I also agree that were societies that were more equal towards women. so?! It does not mean that I am an emotional slave to another culture…

        About the personal and cultural evolution, it’s seems to me that this model does not argue that people are not motivated from self interest. This psychology model works perfectly with my skeptic approach about equality. It wants to show that people have an interests in other people if they evolve.

      • Thanks for your thoughts. I’m taking a break from my blog until mid-January.

  45. Very moving. Thank you for sharing your story. In my country (PNG) and my culture, being raped is very common. We women of that country and the wider Melanesians are fighting this disease every day. This happens in random attacks and within relationships. I’ve been a policewoman and a journalist so I’m talking about facts. Many of my friends and family members have been raped. Your story reminded me of myself some 20 years ago. I never saw how it could be over, ever – he was always around the corner. One day my attacker dropped dead. That was shocking too. Now, when I look at that woman from 20 years ago, I see how strong and brave she was. You must believe in yourself. To get to where you are now, and tell your story, you have a lot of strength and power within you. You haven’t seen it yet, but it is coming. Love & hugs.

  46. She is strong enough to come out of the wrong relation, stand for herself and work through her depression and staying strong till date. Many women don’t do that and they continue to be in an abusive relationship that not only make their life difficult but even their kids life becomes so depressive and tough to survive.

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