Countless stories of abuse have flooded the media with the hashtag #metoo since brave women and men decided not to be silent about sexual assault and abuse any longer.
When posted on social media, #metoo means that the poster has been the victim of sexual violence at some point during their life. Actress Alyssa Milano recently made the hashtag famous when she responded in solidarity with actress Rose McGowan, who accused Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein of rape.
Even more recently, Ebony reported that 10 years ago, a Black woman founded the MeToo movement. Her name is Tarana Burke. At the same time, some argue that Black women are absent from the MeToo conversation.
We’re here, though. Whether our voices are heard, Black women MeToo stories to tell.
Yes, I too was sexually abused. When I was a teenager, a family friend molested me. At first it seemed like a game. Then came the fear: fear of touch, fear of thoughts of touch. Fear turned into shame, including others shaming me. Then came the pain.
Can I say that this is my fault for letting this happen? Or maybe it is my ignorance to the fact that women and men all share common experiences of abuse and neglect. Although it is currently a trending topic, generations of victims coming forward is not a new thing. Fear of leaving your child with a family friend or relative is well justified as evidence has proved there is no form of protection worth mentioning.
With new allegations of sexual assault appearing in the news daily, it’s becoming clear to anyone who didn’t already know that Hollywood has a power problem, and people are hurt by sexual abuse. Actor Corey Feldman has said this for years.
My intention is that those who care to read will listen to the silent cries for help around them. Why is there so much shame in empowering the victim to have a voice against their abuser? Let’s stop pretending this will never happen to you or that you will never be affected. Just read the stories online with the hashtag #metoo and reflect. Please do not let this wave of influence pass you by.
Physical and emotional abuse can occur at any age and no one is immune. Denying the existence will no longer be tolerated. We take a stand together on the most powerful platform of our time and say #metoo.
Editor’s note: soulciti stands for women’s rights to tell their stories of sexual assault and abuse as it occurs to them, in a responsible and safe environment that’s free from oppression and silence through shaming or blame.