It’s overwhelming to see the headlines week after week with the latest report of sexual harrassment or assault victims coming forward and telling their stories. Social Media reveals the confusion for many people of, “Why did she wait so long to tell?”….”Why speak up about it now, after all these years?”…”Are these women just trying to destroy a man’s career?”
I can tell you from personal experience that the underlying reasons are fear and shame.
Part of me says, “Finally! Victims are speaking up!” and then part of me feels the weight of what is ahead for these brave souls who have finally put into words what has been taking place in silence and secrecy for who knows how long.
One of the concerns I have with the overwhelming #MeToo conversation taking place is the need for an equal conversation about the aftermath and journey of healing involved for victims and survivors. Men and women who have experienced situations of sexual violence, harassment, assault, and abuse need safe places to heal, and resources to help them in that journey.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, I wrote Journey to Heal in order to help other women find their way in recovering from the aftermath of sexual trauma. It is a faith-based guide to healing that is helping thousands of women across the country find their way through the dark and often lonely process involved.
If you or someone you love has said #MeToo, I encourage you to find grace and healing in its pages.
For the friends, families, co-workers, and church community who are coming alongside someone who has said #MeToo recently, let me say this:
It can take years for a victim to find the courage to speak up, and when they do they need to be believed. Please don’t judge us because we waited 5, 10, 20, or even 50 years to say something. We have been hiding because we were ashamed of what was done or said to us. We felt responsible in some way, and it has only been by the skin of our teeth that we’ve been able to muster the words, “Me too.” Please be patient with us as we process, feel, grieve, and release the weight of what we have been carrying for so long.
As always, please comment, share and carry on the conversation if you’d like. Together we can make a change.