“You can’t silence somebody when they have 25,000 voices behind them saying, ‘I believe you—and it’s happened to me too.’“
When I was seventeen and traveling in Europe with a friend, a man got into our train compartment, placed a napkin over the crotch of his pants, and started masturbating.
Frozen in horror, I remember making myself as small as possible, and using my jean jacket as a shield.
I wanted to disappear.
That’s the first memory that surfaces as I sit here on a rainy Saturday, trying to take myself back to each and every moment over my 38 years when I experienced sexual harassment.
The moments—comments, looks, touches, grabs, gropes—made me feel that shrinking myself down in size was the answer and, if I close my eyes, and settle into my body, I can feel the almost insurmountable shame that arises.
I could fill a book with my stories and I’m astounded at my urge to cry.
And scream. And rant. And rage.
Please let your voice be heard; share your story, share your truth.
(Are you scared? I am too—but if we don’t talk about it, then how will we know that we are not alone?)
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Ed: Bryonie Wise