Sexual harassment… #MeToo.
The Harvey Weinstein paradigm is not a new one.
I keep reading articles about this latest of many revelations this year of yet another man in power using his influence to sexually overpower women and influence their fields. This is NOT a new story, every woman I know has had a “experience” with usually an older man trying to exert power over her in the workplace, in her family, in her life. This is every woman’s story and it has been mine as well. These stories start when women are younger, usually vulnerable and in most cases at the care of or mercy of predators.
The first time this happened to me I was 8, on the street, in Greece. A stranger yelled expletives my way and I was wearing white shorts and a t- shirt. I felt horrified, embarrassed and unable to do anything.
The second time I was 15, a man who I trusted tried to not only physically harass me but also came close to sexually violating me. It happened later in my life numerous times. The latest was a slew of online and off line harassment, by an ex partner that lead me to finally go to the police and report it.
Here is where I was lucky. Although I’ve heard horror stories of women who spoke out and were not taken seriously, or ignored and told to not speak up, I was supported 100%. Each and every time.
The man who sexually violated me when I was 15, was deported, investigations took place immediately after my report and every one of the officers, investigators and legal representatives supported me, every step of the way, and above all my parents who never for a moment doubted my word against his.
In my most recent interaction with law enforcement, I can tell you that with out a doubt I was listened to, all my reports were recorded, tweets, emails and messages were filed and the creep that harassed me is on notice. Women must speak up, they must not feel afraid to utilize all that is available to them and above all, have a support system that will fight with you and for you.
We are no longer alone, we are thousands, millions of women out there. And we will fight back. The culture of abuse, harassment, sexual overpowering is crumbling and there is nothing to stop it.