Over the past few days there has been a surge on social media with #MeToo, a campaign designed to protest rape culture and shed light on the commonality of sexual assault in our society. Posts range from a simple “#MeToo” to in depth stories of repeated sexual violence and outpourings of support for victims who do and don’t choose to share their stories.
As the campaign picked up speed, I had one friend, a victim of sexual assault, mention that the posts were making her uncomfortable, simultaneously driving her to feel triggered but also like she wasn’t so alone in her new struggle.
I felt those feelings too.
As uncomfortable as this discussion is and has to be, it is so vitally important. Nothing can be done to solve a problem if there are still so many people who don’t know that it exists. This trend is raising awareness. It is making people listen. It is making victims feel like they are less alone in one of the most isolating experiences and this is so important.
As awful as it is to go online and read these stories, it makes me realize that I am also not alone. There are so many others suffering from the same traumas and horrors that I am, and while I may not be ready to share my story, this movement has given me the courage to let the world know that I have one. Every story is unique and special and hurtful in its own way. Some will be harder to share that others. Everyone will react to the trauma in different ways.
For those with stories they feel they can’t bring to light for whatever reason, I hope you know are loved and supported by an endless stream of victims and survivors. I hope you know that you didn’t deserve it and that it isn’t your fault. Most of all, I hope that one day you feel safe enough to stop suffering in silence. The prevalence of this issue is sickening and disgusting and I hope that one day we reach a world where this doesn’t happen so much anymore and that when it does, the stories we tell are taken seriously. Maybe one day we won’t have to create campaigns like this.