In her lifetime, one in every six American women will be the victim of attempted or completed rape. One in every six! Hearing statistics aren’t always easy to grasp, but there’s a new trend to show the magnitude of rape culture: #metoo. The hashtag’s purpose is for every woman who has ever been sexually assaulted or abused to shed light on the magnitude of sexual hurt. But why is it so hard for us to admit “me too”?
I read story after story of women who struggle to type “me too,” and even women who type “me too,” then delete the words. We are not the reason for this occurrence, but yet we feel shame. Why is that?
Maybe we feel shame because we blame ourselves or perhaps because we think we could have done something more to stop it. Or maybe those explanations of shame don’t explain your feelings at all. But when you blame yourself, you let the assaulter win. You are creating an excuse for his actions.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to build up anger or hatred against your assaulter. I know that’s easy to do, but beloved, that’s not what the Lord wants for you. The Lord doesn’t want a buildup of bitterness within you, because that does nothing but pull you away from Him.
If you’ve been assaulted, I pray you turn to the Lord.
Psalm 34:18 tells us that God draws close to those who are hurting and weary. He will never leave you, even in chaos and storms. The Lord is with you always.
When you’re ready, share. Share with an open heart, so you feel love through your hardships and brokenness. God created us for Community. It’s imperative we share our hurt and our joy with those around us.
Romans 12:15 tells us to rejoice with the rejoicing and weep with the weeping. Open your heart to the community waiting for you, and share your story!
Your story is compelling, and the day that you decide to stand up is the day you give another girl the confidence to say, “Me too.”
So, in hopes that I may give someone confidence: Me too.
My freshman year in college I was so excited to get to an enormous campus and meet people. I loved the diversity and found community among it. I fit in pretty quickly with a group of girls in a Christian sorority. I know, a Christian sorority, it almost sounds like an oxymoron.
My sorority sisters quickly became my close friends; we were inseparable. We did everything together: from socials to gym dates, to Saturday football games. Somewhere along the way, I met a boy.
Sure, he was cute, but most importantly he claimed to be a Christian. His friends seemed like good guys so when he gave me some attention I was interested. The care he gave me was ordinary and seemed unlike flirting. I noticed his friendships with many girls in my pledge class, so I didn’t think anything was different from the friendship we had and the bond they shared.
Fun fact about me: I love game nights. My family and I have been playing for years, and have even had tournaments. When I came to college, I decided to continue that tradition in hopes to bring a little of my home into my dorm.
Well, this boy, we’ll call him Ian* to make it easier, had come over to our commons with a few friends, and we played card games for a few hours. Eventually, people were tired and left sporadically throughout the evening. It was just the two of us left, and he was flirting and then kissing me. I didn’t want to kiss him, and I could tell he wanted more. So, I told him my roommates could come out at any minute and that he should just go home. It was getting late.
I thought about the encounter for the next couple of days. “Ian probably thinks I’m such a prude that I wouldn’t just continue kissing him. It wasn’t a big deal; he had been drinking before coming over anyway.” But it was a big deal. I made excuses for him and normalized him kissing me without my permission or desire.
The excuse I conjured seemed legitimate, so we continued with our friendship. We ran into each other at a social the next day, and he acted normal, so I acted as if it wasn’t a big deal.
A few weeks later, we bonded over a mutual love for Star Wars and talked about how excited we were for the new one coming out in a couple of days. Ian mentioned that he wasn’t sure who he could go with since his friends didn’t like the film series, so I invited him to go with my friends and me— a decision I would later regret.
The movie premiere was at 2:30 am Friday morning; consequently, we were all drained by the time we made it back to the apartment. A few of us stayed in one place, and Ian and I were nearby. I was under the impression that we were all going straight to sleep, but he had other ideas. He came on top of me and started kissing me, again without my permission. I tried to stop him, and I said no, but in times like these, and with minds like his, a no isn’t a reason to stop, and he didn’t stop. He continued until he finished and then said a snide remark, a remark that objectified my body.
The rest of the night I stayed curled up trying to conceal my tears. I cried quietly to myself as I prayed and continued to ask God why that just happened. When awoke the next morning, I felt that shame that all those women feel, and even convinced myself that it was my fault, that I let that happen, and that I should’ve done more to stop him. I told myself that didn’t happen to me, and I went about my life for the next few months.
I finally started telling people and sharing my story after seeking help from a doctor seven months later. I told my doctor, a friend, my mom, and even my dad. After returning to school that Fall, I shared my story with my sorority president, and then my sorority family. As I told these girls who knew me better than anyone, I saw heartbreak, pain, tears, and then I saw courage. Courage and bravery arose from these girls as a few more started to tell similar experiences that they had had but didn’t ever want to talk about or say, “me too” because of shame. Some girls were even affected or knew people affected in the same way and by the same boy.
Our society has a problem. It is problematic when I can sit down with a group of 15 or so women and hear many girls say “me too.” We need to realize our sin-riddled culture. We must begin the conversation on sexuality and share sexual hurt. Women don’t need to feel the shame because of what someone took from her.
We have a loving Father, a confidant in our God. We have the light that unveils the darkest parts of our past (2 Corinthians 4:6). Our Lord is faithful, and our Lord is good. Trust in Him, and don’t be afraid to say, “Me too.”
Written by Brittany Kinney
Read more of her story @brittayyyee
*Names changed for privacy