When the Hashtag Fades, We’ll Still Be Here. #MeToo

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope. - Bernard Williams

We aren’t all celebrities. We don’t all have a national spotlight on us. At some point, when famous people stop getting outed as abusers, the #MeToo movement may fade. But we’ll still be here with our pain: the millions of women who suffer the lasting effects of sexual harassment and abuse. #MeToo has made me look back at my life, and now I am sharing my story and perspective to give voice to these regular women and girls throughout America and the world. To reinforce a message: you matter. Your pain is real and legitimate. You are not alone. There is no statute of limitations on telling your story. And most importantly: it’s not your fault.

I was adopted as a child, taken away from my home under suspicion of child abuse. I had suffered third degree burns and was rushed to the hospital to save my life. The burns led to the development of epilepsy (though I have been seizure free for years now). Due to the combination of my skin color and the scars that now covered my leg, stomach, arm and back, I endured years of bullying as a child. Thankfully, I was adopted by loving parents who had taken care of foster children for over 20 years – their compassion and patience are a big reason that I am still here today.

The abuse started when I was 15, when I began a six-year relationship with the wrong man. I was told that I didn’t know what love was because of my age – because of naivety and inexperience. I endured physical, emotional and sexual abuse. He told me that this was just something that happened in relationships. The situation became dire for me, and I genuinely wanted to end my life, and had specific plans to do so. But I reached out to a popular journalist who is an advocate for Day One and has a fund at Safe Horizon. Tamron Hall may not even realize that her subsequent efforts to connect me with a support agency for victims literally saved my life. Many women are not lucky enough to stumble upon advocates who go out of their way to help – or even just listen.

What she did so effectively was simple: she validated me. She listened and believed me. She did not judge me as others did. Most of the times I’ve described my abuse experience to others, the response has been victim-shaming: Why did you stay with him so long? You enabled him. Why are you just talking about this now? Just another weak woman crying for help. Some blamed my race, as though I deserved this treatment as a young black woman.

The shaming of victims must stop. Even with the force of the #MeToo movement at their backs, many women (and men) who are coming forward with their stories about abuse at the hands of famous men are facing ridicule similar to the kind I have faced: Why did it take you so long to come forward? We are somehow conditioned by society to believe that time-delayed stories are irrelevant because of the delay. But imagine if I said to someone who tragically lost a parent two decades ago and randomly started crying, “Your mother died years ago. Why are you still sad – and why are you just talking about it now?” This kind of thinking, applied to revelations of abuse, keeps survivors suffering in silence. For some, they have feelings of guilt to deal with, the shame and embarrassment of the events, and a pervasive and understandable lack of trust. It wasn’t easy for me to open up, because I didn’t know peoples’ intentions.

So, to America I say – listen. Listen with your heart. Understand that recovery from abuse is a journey for the abused – not just a “get it off your chest” moment. Sharing our stories is not an act of vindictiveness, it is a part of our healing process and we are entitled to it…even if it happens years after the fact. By listening to our stories with compassion and not shaming us, you could literally be saving our lives.

To my fellow victims I say – you are not alone. Sexual assault is a huge issue not just in Hollywood but on our streets, in our schools, and even in our homes. Half of my peers have shared stories of rape, sexual assault and abuse, the youngest at age 12. The media’s light most often shines on prominent victims with famous abusers, but it’s not just famous people with a million followers who matter. I remember sitting on my bed and contemplating my death because of a pervasive feeling that I didn’t matter. But I did. And so do you. When you feel ready, we are here. If you are never ready, just know you have people standing with you and you are still a survivor deserving of respect. Survivors don’t have to feel guilty or embarrassed. We can feel strong and fearless. Here’s to the light that we deserve and to the love that we most definitely deserve.

I am a victim of sexual abuse. I endured it for years. But now I’m a college student with a high GPA and I plan to make a difference in this world. That starts with speaking my truth. I do so on your behalf, if you are unwilling or unable. And to you I say - I think about you all the time, I love you, and I believe you.

Contributing Editor: Carmen Dixon

Carmen is a writer and aspiring activist from Georgia. She is currently an honors student studying information technology and business and is hoping to close the gap between women and men in IT. She believes women can do anything! In her spare time, Carmen likes to dance, write, tutor, and volunteer her time at events for those who need hope.

"I hope the world one day will be an open platform for people like myself. I want to see us living in a true democracy not divided by race, gender, sex, or socioeconomic status. I want to see each and every person’s voice matter and for all of us to join hands in unity. Separation to me is an illusion. We all need each other. I hope in the future to see a decline in the suicide rate, sexual assault and domestic violence."

Featured Image: Arizona Public Media

37 Comments

  • Andrew Key
    Posted December 8, 2017 8:42 pm 3Likes

    Having a Daughter who is also a Survivor of Molestation and Date Rape, just being her Father I can Relate to the Stigma that has been pushing at her.(i.e. It was Your Fault, I Couldn’t Help myself because you are Beautiful,) Sad Excuses for why they did what they did! Now she suffers from Severe PTSD and Anger Problems. Being A Father and Not Being Able To Do Anything About it, is perhaps the Hardest Thing I Have Ever Had To Endure! That’s saying something since I too suffer from Severe PTSD and Chronic Pain due to my Military Service. God Bless You For Coming Out And Speaking Truth To Power. You’re In My Prayers Young Lady!

    • Carmen
      Posted December 8, 2017 8:54 pm 3Likes

      Thank you so much and hang in there for us! To your daughter: I hope you remain strong and I will continue to think about you and other survivors like myself. Keep reaching for the stars and know you’re not broken but powerful. You’re a great father

      • Carmen
        Posted June 27, 2018 6:24 am 0Likes

        I would like to know how you are doing follow my twitter @carmen_td8_

    • Carmen
      Posted June 27, 2018 6:20 am 0Likes

      Do you have in twitter? I would love to follow you.

  • Jack
    Posted December 30, 2017 6:38 am 0Likes

    I know a game we сan plzy that is like Daddy is taloing about.?
    Mommy statеd making each boys need to kjow tthe gamе a lot.
    ?It?s caⅼleed ?Ԝhats thee smartest thing about God. And each of
    us has tto come up with onne actualy great point we
    like about God. Who desires to go first?? Lee and Larry jumped аnd shouted ?ME MΕ!?
    waqving their hands in the air like they do at school.

    Ꮮastly, Mommy stated, ?Well Leе, ѕince youгe two minutes older thaan Larry, you may go first.

  • Jack
    Posted January 1, 2018 6:14 am 0Likes

    ᏞIKE WHAT ƊADƊY, TELL US, TELL US.? Each boyѕ јumped up and down eager to know
    learn how to maкe God happy.

  • www.linux.net
    Posted January 1, 2018 1:25 pm 0Likes

    Тhat is sucһ a fun ցame and we had an ideal birthday Daddy.?
    Larry added. ?Can wee play ?What?s the peгfect thing about God?
    tomorrow too?? he begged his Mommy.

  • http://yahoo.com
    Posted January 17, 2018 2:16 am 0Likes

    Everyone ⅼaaughed making an attempt to imagine whɑt sort of birthday celebrɑtion Marry and Joseph gave for Jesus when He was sіx.
    Larry գuestioned, ?I bet he liked the same fогm of toys we like.

  • http://theguardian.com
    Posted March 4, 2018 5:29 am 0Likes

    Yߋu mean like after we sing rewaard songs inn Church??
    Larry requested and daddy nodded. ?Well I could make սp a woгship
    song.? Sо Larry jumped to his toes and commenced too make up
    a song to a very ԁangerous tune. ?Jesus is so cool. Its enjоyable being with God.
    Hes the funnest God anyboԀy might have.?
    Larry sang very badly so Lee had put his arms over his ears.

  • mezo
    Posted March 27, 2018 2:21 am 0Likes

    My fakily membеrs alԝays say tһat I am killing mmy time һere at net, howеver Ι know Ӏ am
    getting knoѡ-hοw every daү by reading thes fastidious
    posts.

  • timberland shoes
    Posted April 23, 2018 5:27 am 0Likes

    I definitely wanted to compose a note in order to say thanks to you for all the amazing tips and hints you are posting on this site. My time intensive internet look up has now been paid with excellent know-how to exchange with my companions. I would assume that we visitors actually are very lucky to dwell in a really good network with so many outstanding people with insightful tricks. I feel really blessed to have encountered your entire website page and look forward to tons of more excellent times reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.

  • yeezy
    Posted April 24, 2018 4:08 am 0Likes

    I actually wanted to post a note to be able to thank you for all the nice concepts you are writing here. My extended internet lookup has now been rewarded with brilliant facts to write about with my family members. I would say that most of us readers are unquestionably blessed to live in a fine network with so many wonderful professionals with useful strategies. I feel really lucky to have encountered your entire website page and look forward to so many more fun times reading here. Thanks once more for everything.

  • Michael Kors Logo Signature Large Pink Wallets
    Posted April 24, 2018 7:07 pm 0Likes

    I precisely wanted to say thanks yet again. I am not sure what I would’ve done in the absence of these pointers shown by you regarding such situation. It was before an absolute terrifying situation in my opinion, but spending time with this expert strategy you treated the issue took me to leap for happiness. I will be grateful for this guidance and hope you really know what a powerful job that you’re getting into training people all through your webblog. I’m certain you’ve never encountered any of us.

  • kobe byrant shoes
    Posted April 25, 2018 3:52 am 0Likes

    I would like to show some thanks to you for rescuing me from such a setting. Right after researching through the search engines and seeing principles which are not beneficial, I thought my life was gone. Existing minus the answers to the issues you have solved by way of your good website is a crucial case, and those which might have in a negative way damaged my career if I had not come across your web blog. Your ability and kindness in playing with the whole thing was invaluable. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for this skilled and result oriented help. I will not be reluctant to endorse the blog to any person who will need assistance about this area.

    • Carmen
      Posted June 27, 2018 6:18 am 0Likes

      🙂

  • yeezys
    Posted April 25, 2018 9:26 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for every one of your hard work on this site. Gloria really loves going through research and it’s really simple to grasp why. A lot of people know all about the compelling form you make rewarding techniques on the web site and in addition foster contribution from people on the point then my princess is now learning a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re conducting a glorious job.

  • nike air amx 270
    Posted April 26, 2018 3:41 pm 0Likes

    I simply wanted to write down a quick comment to say thanks to you for the amazing guides you are showing on this website. My incredibly long internet search has finally been honored with awesome concept to talk about with my family. I ‘d suppose that many of us site visitors actually are very much endowed to exist in a remarkable network with very many lovely people with good tips. I feel pretty privileged to have seen your web page and look forward to tons of more exciting minutes reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.

    • Carmen
      Posted June 27, 2018 6:21 am 0Likes

      🙂

  • damian lillard shoes
    Posted April 27, 2018 7:18 am 0Likes

    I wish to express my affection for your generosity in support of people who absolutely need assistance with this particular area. Your real dedication to getting the message all through was astonishingly insightful and have regularly made guys just like me to reach their objectives. This warm and friendly advice signifies much a person like me and especially to my mates. With thanks; from all of us.

    • Carmen
      Posted June 27, 2018 6:22 am 0Likes

      Thank you 🙂

  • kobe shoes
    Posted April 28, 2018 3:11 am 0Likes

    I intended to post you one bit of word to help thank you very much as before regarding the precious suggestions you’ve documented in this case. It has been incredibly generous with you to deliver without restraint what exactly many individuals would have distributed for an electronic book to earn some dough on their own, even more so considering that you could possibly have tried it if you wanted. Those solutions in addition served to become great way to realize that other individuals have the identical dreams the same as my very own to know more and more with respect to this matter. I believe there are many more pleasant instances up front for those who read carefully your blog.

  • Adidas Originals NMD Runner Primeknit Sneakers Blue Orange
    Posted April 28, 2018 2:56 pm 0Likes

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with such a splendid chance to read in detail from this blog. It’s always very excellent and full of a good time for me and my office acquaintances to visit your website particularly three times every week to learn the fresh issues you have got. And definitely, I’m just usually happy with all the astounding thoughts you give. Selected two ideas in this posting are without a doubt the simplest we have had.

  • air max 90
    Posted April 29, 2018 8:16 pm 0Likes

    I precisely wanted to thank you very much once again. I’m not certain the things I would have undertaken without those aspects discussed by you on this subject. Certainly was a difficult condition in my position, however , spending time with a new well-written technique you resolved that took me to leap over contentment. I will be happier for the information and then hope you recognize what a powerful job you have been putting in teaching men and women through the use of a web site. Most likely you haven’t got to know any of us.

  • Michael Kors Striped Travel Medium Orange Grey Totes
    Posted April 30, 2018 2:35 am 0Likes

    I needed to create you a tiny word in order to thank you so much once again just for the pretty pointers you have shared in this article. This is certainly surprisingly open-handed of you to offer without restraint just what a lot of folks would have advertised for an electronic book to help with making some bucks for themselves, certainly seeing that you could possibly have tried it if you ever considered necessary. These tricks additionally served like the good way to be certain that other people have the same zeal the same as my own to grasp great deal more around this issue. I know there are numerous more pleasurable instances up front for individuals who look over your blog post.

  • supreme clothing
    Posted April 30, 2018 6:19 pm 0Likes

    I have to voice my love for your kindness supporting persons who should have assistance with that idea. Your real dedication to getting the solution all over turned out to be particularly productive and has frequently permitted ladies much like me to arrive at their ambitions. Your entire important hints and tips denotes much to me and still more to my colleagues. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  • fitflops
    Posted May 1, 2018 8:02 pm 0Likes

    I have to convey my affection for your generosity in support of persons who have the need for help with this particular content. Your very own commitment to passing the message all through has been rather advantageous and has continuously encouraged women like me to arrive at their ambitions. Your personal insightful facts indicates so much to me and even further to my office colleagues. Best wishes; from each one of us.

  • jordan shoes
    Posted May 2, 2018 11:08 pm 0Likes

    I truly wanted to make a simple message to be able to appreciate you for some of the fabulous guidelines you are placing at this website. My considerable internet lookup has finally been recognized with good suggestions to go over with my pals. I ‘d tell you that we visitors actually are rather lucky to be in a useful network with so many awesome people with very helpful advice. I feel pretty happy to have seen the website and look forward to so many more pleasurable times reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.

  • longchamp handbags
    Posted May 3, 2018 8:57 pm 0Likes

    I simply desired to appreciate you once more. I do not know the things I would’ve created in the absence of the entire tips discussed by you about such concern. It was the challenging case in my view, however , seeing this well-written strategy you treated the issue forced me to weep with joy. I will be grateful for this service and even believe you comprehend what a great job you’re carrying out instructing others with the aid of a site. I’m certain you’ve never met all of us.

  • yeezy shoes
    Posted May 4, 2018 10:07 pm 0Likes

    I intended to create you one little note to finally say thank you once again just for the spectacular principles you’ve discussed on this page. It is so seriously generous of people like you to make unreservedly all that most of us could possibly have offered for sale as an e book to make some money for themselves, mostly considering that you could have tried it if you desired. Those techniques as well served to be a fantastic way to fully grasp that the rest have a similar keenness much like my personal own to find out a whole lot more when it comes to this matter. I believe there are thousands of more enjoyable occasions ahead for folks who browse through your blog.

  • Eyelashes
    Posted May 18, 2018 4:49 pm 0Likes

    Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite
    reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be awasre of.
    I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about.
    You managged to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole
    thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • Dannette Jurina
    Posted May 21, 2018 10:56 am 0Likes

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to pass on this fantastic article supporting women in the motor industry. Please lend you support where you can to this and the #metoo campaign. Thanks

    • Carmen
      Posted June 27, 2018 6:18 am 0Likes

      Wha is this?

  • Carmen
    Posted June 27, 2018 6:23 am 0Likes

    Thans for all the support on the article you can find me on twitter @carmen_td8_

  • illustration
    Posted June 29, 2018 1:06 am 0Likes

    I do not leave many remarks, however i did some searching and wound up here . And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be only me or does it look as if like a few of these responses look like they are left by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on other sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of all your public sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • Free Auto Approve List 6-29-2018
    Posted June 30, 2018 12:43 pm 0Likes

    I just added a brand new list. I hope you all are having a great week. I’m trying new methods to find more links. Check out my site to see the results.

  • 2018 web design
    Posted July 3, 2018 12:09 am 0Likes

    I leave a leave a response when I appreciate a post on a site or if I have something to add to the conversation. Usually it’s triggered by the sincerness communicated in the post I read. And after this post. I was excited enough to leave a comment 🙂 I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be just me or does it seem like some of the responses come across like they are left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing at other places, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Could you make a list the complete urls of your communal pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  • Free Auto Approve List 7-8-2018
    Posted July 8, 2018 4:00 am 0Likes

    I hope you all are having a great weekend. I have a new list for you. Read the latest update on how I compiled the list. I’m still surprised by the results.

Add Comment