The ‘Me Too’ Campaign – For those who did and did not come forward

Last week, two words began appearing over and over again in my Facebook feed. Those two words were ‘me too’. I feel so proud of all my friends and the many women who have so bravely come forward.
 
The #metoo campaign was actually started a decade ago by Tarana Burke, but re-surfaced on Facebook this last week, where victims of sexual assault spoke out in solidarity with one another. The two-word status update ‘me too’ was a brave and difficult to ignore signal that this person too had been a victim of sexual assault. The campaign was a powerful message to women that you are not alone. And it was a fierce message to those who have attacked us that we will not continue to stay silent.
 
I hope it does not end here.
 
Some of my friends were shocked by the amount of women who were coming forward. Definitely it’s overwhelming, but it does not surprise me. And it’s also important to recognize that there are many more women who stayed silent as I did (for I did not come forward), either by choice or necessity.
 
The truth is that sexual assault is a difficult topic to talk about. It’s so common and normalized, that it can be difficult to identify it as something wrong.
 
I did not come forward with this campaign, and initially I was hard on myself for not adding myself to this conversation. But this should not be another occasion where women blame themselves for doing something wrong. For those of us who didn’t come forward on social (and our reasons for not coming forward are valid) we can still join the conversation – by talking to our friends in private and by standing and supporting the women who are sharing their voices loudly and bravely.
 
To all the women (and men) who’ve participated in the #metoo campaign, thank you. Thank you very much.