Her call invoked a staggering response of an approximate 27 million views and responses from women tweeting about their first sexual assaults in response. The hashtag #NotOk has taken Twitter by fire. It is heartening to see that not only women but men too are discussing it. A few things come out starkly in these tweets.
They tell us that there have been assaults, mostly behind closed doors, that women have been shaken, and that they have regained their balance and moved on with life. The incidents don’t leave them even if it happened when they were kids. But they move on.
Can’t decide which one to write about.but lets just say they were all disgusting events.And sadly i still cant talk about any of them.#NotOk
— Hamna Khan (@hamnamon) October 8, 2016
— Alana Pilar Cantillo (@APCantillo) October 8, 2016
— Nik ♿ (@mindandthemagic) October 8, 2016
@kellyoxford A drunk family friend in his 40s pinned me against the door @ my granny’s & pressed himself on me. I was 15. Never told anyone.
— Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) October 8, 2016
The volume of tweets which talked about sexual assault as kids open up a very scary face that every little girl in our house is prone to face it in some form at some point in our life. As a parent the thought is not just disturbing – it is a punch in my face when I think I am doing everything I can to give my child a hopeful and bright future.
fifth grade fondled & felt up, when I fought back I earned in school detention for “behaviour problems”
— Liz McCauley (@mccauley_liz) October 8, 2016
— Cristina Chavez (@cristi_boo) October 8, 2016
— Mimi @ DIA UR (@purecursed) October 8, 2016
It would an understatement to say that most women go through sexual violation in some form physical or verbal. Going by the enormity of the tweets, it might be safe to assume that all women at some point in time go through such an experience.
— Phoebe Grabs Back (@phoebelett) October 8, 2016
women have tweeted me sexual assault stories for 14 hours straight. Minimum 50 per minute. harrowing. do not ignore. #notokay
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) October 8, 2016
Quit being ashamed
Sexual assaults don’t depend on the dress a woman wears, the age she is or the time of the day she is out. Someone had tweeted pictures of a female mannequin in a hijab getting fondled! As ardent our fight is against evils such as rape or assault, we also need to accept that sexual assault is like a condition outside of us, like a virus.
When I am struck with a disease I see a doctor, – if I am violated I should see one, a counselor maybe. Something which has happened behind closed doors does not need to remain behind one.
As much as the assaulter needs to be punished, there is a bigger need for the person who has faced the assault to get all the help that he or she needs. The first step towards fighting this evil is to remove shame from the fact that it happened.
These tweets show that there are millions of women who had bottled up feelings of not just one of two but multiple occasions of violation. Such incidents should no more be shoved under the rug.
Top image courtesy various Internet memes around Donald Trump