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#MeToo: Sexual Assault is Real and No One Deserves It

3 min read

by Jessie Brar – Follow @jessieebrar

Over the past few days, my Facebook and Twitter have been filling up with thousands of men and women posting the phrase “me too.” It simultaneously makes me happy to see that there are so many coming together to raise awareness, but also breaks my heart at how many people have experienced sexual assault.

The #MeToo campaign went viral after Alyssa Milano posted this tweet:

The hashtag saw more than half a million tweets in its first 24 hours. It is sharing the message that victims are not alone and that we must believe their stories.

The original movement was started by Tarana Burke of Just Be Inc. She was a youth worker and, when a young girl opened up about the sexual assault she was experiencing at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend, Burke was so ashamed and hurt by her own personal experience with the assault that she couldn’t even whisper the words, “Me too.” She struggled with this afterward, feeling as though she had shut the girl down and made her think that silence would have been better, but then realized that, sometimes, we just need to know we are not alone.

[Read Related: Harvey Weinstein Allegations’ Unveil the Real ‘Magnitude of the Problem’]

Sexual assault and abuse are everywhere. From Hollywood casting couches to schools to our streets. The #MeToo movement shows the magnitude of this problem. As I scroll through my timeline, it seems like I should be asking “who hasn’t” rather than “me too” and that disgusts me.

Because of me too.

I’ve been catcalled. I’ve been groped. I’ve been kissed when I said no. I’ve been drugged at a party. I’ve been sexually assaulted more times than I care to count and yet I have never once told anyone because I am too afraid that people won’t believe me.

I remember being 12, walking home from school, and having a 40-year-old man drive by and yell out “nice ass” as I ran as fast as I could to get home without him following me.

I remember being 16, having a co-worker corner me and say I couldn’t leave unless I gave him a kiss. I remember freezing as he moved in towards me. I remember saying I didn’t want to and him telling me:

“Yes, you do.”

I remember being 18, going to a party, and waking up in the hospital the next morning to the nurse telling me that I had been drugged the night before, but my friends had brought me in before anything bad could happen. I remember it being easier to have my friends upset with me for drinking too much than to tell them that he had put something in my drink.

[Read Related: Dear Sexual Assault Survivors: You Are Not Alone, We Will Stand By You]

People are sharing their stories and showing that it didn’t matter what they wore or how many times they said no. Sexual assault still happens. Men, women, children, members of the LGBTQ community—sexual assault is everywhere and none of us deserve it.

For every person sharing the #MeToo movement, there are many more who have been affected. We don’t owe it to anyone to explain what happened to us. We don’t have to prove it happened because we know it did. Sexual assault is real. It is happening. And it is a problem.

People all over the world are banding together to speak out:

It is up to all of us to create a world where we no longer have to say, “me too.” We must stand up for each other. Don’t let rape jokes and sexist comments pass as if they are okay. If someone discloses something to you, don’t ask “what were you wearing” or “did you actually say no.” Tell them that you believe them and ask them what you can do to help.

Sexual assault is never okay. Consent is necessary. The choice is necessary. The power to say no and be heard are necessary.

This is everyone’s responsibility.

#MeToo.

Read more about Tarana Burke and the #MeToo movement here.


Chocolate Lover – Bollywood Dancer – Bhangra Enthusiast – Mental Health Advocate.
Jessie Brar studied psychology at Queen’s University and is currently working at a boutique recruitment firm in Toronto, Canada. Her spare time is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health through volunteering with organizations such as Jack.Org and running The Mental Health Spotlight (@TheMHSpotlight), an Instagram project dedicated to erasing stigma around mental health and mental illness in South Asian communities through the power of storytelling. In her downtime she can be found cuddled up watching/reading Harry Potter, eating Reese’s Cups, or dancing to Bollywood and Bhangra tunes in front of a mirror. 

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