Ever since I saw this tag for the first time, I haven’t been able to keep my mind off of it. My initial thought was that I didn’t want to copy it. I didn’t want people to know, I didn’t want people to judge me for being one of “those”. But I am. And I am not alone. I have hesitated a lot if I should post this at all, but I strongly relate to this issue, it is so important and I have realized that I am part of the problem if I don’t. Maybe it is time to be brave and actually open up, like so many other women right now!
2012. It wasn’t until two (!!) years later that I realized that this was not a no big deal. During WoW-week (Week of Welcome) at Cal Poly I realized the magnitude of what had happened and I completely broke down and told someone for the very first time. I couldn’t believe that I had been through that and just brushed it off my shoulders at the time. No, of course I didn’t just brush it off my shoulders. I spent two full days crying in bed, wondering why I hadn’t said no a little bit louder so he might have understood. But I didn’t tell anyone because I thought that I was overreacting. So I kept quiet, until Cal Poly made me aware of what I had been through. What was sad was, that at that time, in 2014, I was seriously thinking of doing something about it, tell the police. But then I thought, what good would that do, two years later and thousands of miles away? A hard realization hit me, nothing would happen. So I continued to keep quiet about it.
Some time passed and with the realization that it was a big deal, I actually wanted to share. But I was met by someone who took the guy’s side and I decided that I would never ever share this with anyone ever again. Why would I tell someone something this big and horrible if it wouldn’t help me in any way, just make me feel worse? So here I am, more than five years later and still haven’t really talked with anyone about it.
Then I saw this tag, thought it was a good idea, but I didn’t want to be a part of it. But I changed my mind. This is important and I have to hope that this will have some kind of impact! My Facebook feed is full of hashtags, many of them are probably from women in a similar situation like mine and that is just awful! I get so angry that so many (me included) are afraid of sharing because they might be met with shrugs and comments like “you are overreacting”, “think about it from the guy’s perspective”, “it could have been worse”, “was it really that bad?”. And the worst part? Feeling hopeless, because you know that even if you did tell the police or some authority right after it happened, the most likely scenario is that nothing would have been done about it anyway…
So now that everyone is aware, what is the next step?