I am a Writing Arts Major, so that means, I write, a lot. One of the most important things that I have learned in my courses this semester is that my voice matters. All of ours do, but some people just need a little help speaking up for what they believe in but, most importantly, for themselves.
I was instructed to write a short story, I had to integrate emotion, which was easy for me because emotional pieces just call my name. I mean, have you read any of my other articles? As soon as I chose my topic I couldn't stop my finger typed from pounding my Mac keyboard. I was proud of what I wrote until I was instructed that I had to read it aloud.
I sat in my chair, sweating, shaking not because I had to read it out loud, but, because of the weight of my story.
Sexual assault. Rape. PSTD.
Three things that no one wants to talk about were covering my paper. After I read it aloud, I was covered in a blanket of silence, that uncomfortable silence. Until my professor spoke out and just like a waterfall, so did the rest of my class. I was overwhelmed with the amount of pride and respect my classmates covered me with.
But, why was it so hard to speak about?
This is why survivors don't speak up about the assault they encounter because it makes everyone so damn uncomfortable. But why?
Just like I was doused with pride, respect, and love in that small classroom, so should the survivors. Why are they ridiculed and told that "it doesn't matter"?
But, recently just a hashtag made it a little easier to talk about.
On October 15th , Alyssa Milano encouraged her follows to tweet the #MeToo if they have ever been a victim of sexual assault. In the following 24 hours, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the hashtag had been tweeted nearly half a million times. If you type the hashtag in on Facebook, you’ll see that the hashtag also was popping in and out for survivors to share their story.
Your heart can become warmed by a number of people came out about what happened to them. But, also stone cold because a number of these people who go unnoticed, and the men and women who have done these acts are still out there.
This needs to stop. This needs to be wiped out completely.
Women and Men need to start raising their hands, and making it known that this happened to them and not be ridiculed but praised.
Did you know that ever 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted?
Does it matter to you now?