Readers’ #MeToo stories range from shocking to horrific, leaving deep emotional scars and the fear/shame of not being believed. As a result, many have never before told their story:
#MeToo – “I was in my mid-20s walking towards Ottawa’s Parliament Hill for some Canada Day festivities, among crowds of people.
“A drunk man of similar age passed me walking in the opposite direction and pulled my shirt down.
“I was wearing a halter top without a bra, so he exposed my bare breasts and nipples to an entire crowd in broad daylight - maximizing my humiliation.
“I lost him in the crowd and couldn’t confront him. This was a decade ago; he may be a father now.
“I hope he reads this and realizes that what he did was sexual assault, not a funny drunken prank.”
#MeToo – “When I was a young married woman in the early '70's, I came home from work to find my husband playing poker with some friends.
“He (jokingly, I thought), said he’d wagered me in a hand and lost, so I’d have to have sex with each of his friends. I told him that wasn't funny.
“I went into the bedroom to change from my work clothes, and suddenly was thrust face down on the bed with my husband tying my wrists to the headboard.
“Each of his friends raped me in turn. My husband then beat me, on the pretext that "I had enjoyed it."
“I spoke to our parish priest who told me that my husband was entirely within his rights to do what he’d done.
“I soon discovered I was pregnant. I still don’t know who is my daughter's "father" - my husband or one of his friends.
“I left my husband shortly after my daughter was born.”
#MeToo – “I was eight, walking home from elementary school with a friend.
“An older boy from the high school next door came up behind me, put me in a choke hold, pulled me backward and whispered in my ear that he wanted me to take all my clothes off.
“He then let go and walked away. I was crying. My friend and I never mentioned it.”
#MeToo – “At age five, I was molested by a stranger who pulled me into his van and made me touch his penis.
“At eight, I was raped by a stranger who lured me to his home and took me into his basement.
“As a woman manager, 55 (15 years ago), during an office party a man put his hand up my skirt and pinched my inner thigh at the top.”
#MeToo – “At 14, wearing my school uniform riding home in a bus, the man sitting next to me appeared to be asleep.
“I fell asleep too but woke up feeling his hand on my thigh. I moved to another seat.
“I should’ve yelled at him, "Get your filthy hand off my thigh."
#MeToo – “I was 16 and feeling sick. My mom took me to a medical clinic. The regular doctor was away and a locum doctor checked my heart by moving his hand all over my breast instead of using a stereoscope, right in front of my mother. I was so embarrassed.”
#MeToo – “My sisters and I regularly went to the beach as teenagers but we couldn’t swim. One guy offered to teach me. He helped me float on my stomach, then proceeded to rub my vagina. I did not speak up, then.”
#MeToo – “I saved my mother, 92, from certain death when I rushed her to hospital when my siblings didn’t see that she was in crisis.
“While in the hospital, she continued her rant that she disbelieved that my brother sexually abused my son and daughter, even though he was found guilty at his trial.
“She still insisted that the children were lying and I was overreacting. She said the “lies” caused so much stress that it ruined the last 25 years of her life!
“My daughter has decided not to see her grandmother again. I respect her wishes and agree. My son “might” visit her in hospital.
“She and my other sibling have remained angry because I’d called police about the abuse.
“My children and I have been through hell. To be believed is the best and kindest thing you can do for someone who’s been sexually assaulted.”
Tip of the day:
Staying silent about sexual abuse is over. Women and men must speak up against sexual assault, sexual harassment, or inappropriate sexual behaviour.