This post may include content that could be triggering to victims of sexual harassment and assault.
When I sat down to write today’s Happy Hour post, I had no idea what I was going to write about. I thought about doing another 5 things I’m loving type of post but as I started to type, something didn’t feel right. There has been a lot on my mind this week, specifically the “Me Too” campaign that happened on social media. If you’ve been living under a rock this week then you may have no idea what I’m talking about but on Sunday and Monday, women took to social media and posted a simple phrase, “Me too.”
The phrase was a banding together of women to show how many of us face sexual harassment and assault in our lives and often on a daily basis. Some women shared their stories, and others just shared the phrase. I was one of those people who just shared the phrase. I chose not to go into detail on Facebook about my experience because if we’re being honest, I could start listing the number of times I’ve been sexually harassed and it would take pages and pages to complete.
But as I sat reading the statuses and stories of other women, I felt compelled to finally share my story of sexual assault. It’s been years now, since it happened and at the time, I didn’t even know I had been sexually assaulted. It took me years and a therapist to tell me that’s what had happened. And this is exactly the reason I want to share my story. I was sexually assaulted by someone I was in a long term relationship with.
I am not going to go into details because that’s not what this post is about. I’m sharing this with you, my readers, because I want you all to know that I’ve been there too. I want the world to know that this happened to me and that it is not okay. It is not okay for a boyfriend to force you into doing anything you don’t want to do, to guilt or manipulate you into having sex, etc. You are not obligated to do these things just because you are in a relationship. If you take one thing from this post, please let it be that. I wish someone had really told me that when I was younger.
I face the ramifications of this assault every single day. It is something that I have had to work through in my current relationship, and it is something that rears it’s ugly head in the most inopportune times. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want all of you to know that it is okay if you can’t share your story. As you can see, it is still difficult for me to share the details of mine.
You are strong. You are important. You matter. You are not less than because you can’t share your stories. Your pain is not lesser. Now, more than ever, we need to band together in a community of support and that is what I want this post to be about.
To my fellow victims of sexual assault: you are not what happened to you. You are powerful, beautiful women (and men) who live with pain every single day. You are a sight to behold and I am proud of every one of you, whether you shared the status, shared your story, or stayed silent.
I’m going to wrap this post up here mostly because just writing this much has been emotionally draining on me. If you are struggling don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me via email or social media.