This last few months has brought us many surprises. Among them is the #MeToo movement. This movement was founded by a woman named Tarana Burke ten years ago. It has receive magazine’s highest honor for encouraging millions to break the silence and speak out about sexual harassment and violence.
I was looking at Time magazine’s Person of the Year and the “Silence Breakers” have earned this honor for 2017. It is given every year to the person or people who have the most influence in the news during that year. Yes, the explosion of people that have spoken out did not happen until the end of the year, but it grew into a huge monster quickly because many people were encouraged by these women and made the bold decision to speak out against the sexual violence and people that abused them. And the saga continues daily…This is so huge to me!! There are so many people out there that still have not gotten up the nerve to speak up and free themselves from this secret.
“For too long, survivors of sexual assault and harassment have been in the shadows. We have been afraid to speak up, to say “Me Too” and seek accountability. For many, the consequences of doing so have been devastating,” spoken by Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement.
This is a precious time for women (and not just women) that want to release themselves from the prison of this secret. When you hold on to secrets like this, they can eat away at your soul. You can never really feel free to be you and do all that you have ever wanted to do because you hold onto a hurt and no one is held accountable for it. This is also a precious time for the people who have assaulted others because they receive a freedom from the same secret. They have the opportunity to get out of bondage and seek help and forgiveness for the illness that had them imprisoned and caused them to act out toward others. I can see both sides because of my Christian views. A lot of these sexual illnesses, if not all, are past down through the generations. People have seen and had things done to them and then later acted them out from childhood. Gone unchecked, we end up with people that have been hurt, on both sides, and need to obtain their freedom.
To me, it had not been a happy movement while the revelations are happening, but I see the other side. I see the freedom that these women are receiving and we can’t see it now, but one of the assailants is going to start speaking out against their own actions and publicly start something that will bring out the others that need to seek forgiveness and help toward healing.
There are so many faces of young people and adults that are living in silence about the abuse that they have experienced or are continuing to experience today. There are young people that are eating dinner with their abusers, women(or men) having to work with people who cannot keep their hands (or dirty words) to themselves… I just spoke to a women who was concerned for her daughter because she is in high school and being harassed by the boys in her physical education class. She does not want her mom to speak out because she doesn’t want to be singled out as the girl who got the boys into trouble, which may cause more problem with her and other students. People that are being abused are being forced to be quiet because they do not want to hurt others, their careers, or have a reputation that causes them to lose people or opportunities. It is so sad to hear and read. At the same time, it is motivating when you see the people who have stepped up. They may have done it solely for their own healing, but it is also going to expose the abusers who may be tormented by their own actions and they finally get to receive the help and freedom that they need.
A lot of people think that movie stars and singers are not like us “regular” people. I believe that this movement has shown us, sometimes in a very painful way, that they are. You never really know what people are going through, in their heads, behind closed doors….we just never know! Lately, while watching all of these revelations, I have realized that it doesn’t how much you pay for your dress, car or house, you can encounter hurt, real hurt that has to come to light to free you.
The “Silence Breakers” of Time magazine were very recognizable faces. Faces of beauties we have seen from television to movie screens and some of them had experienced sexual hurt for years before their “moment” of silence was broken. With as much money and access to help they probably have and they still didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. I can imagine how many of us are struggling to break free. There has been so many people hurt in the silence and with the new leader we have, must have caused so much unrest in the area that the teapot finally whistled.
This is a time for millions to finally get free…on both sides of the battle! So many stories to be told…it has been like a reckoning on television. Almost every day there is another person getting the spotlight put on them. These women have been hurt and were living with it. They have finally gotten angry enough with the silence and the pride of those that hurt them. They got tired of worrying about being fired, called a liar, retaliations, or blackmail. They got tired of worrying about what people would think of them, or how others would turn the stories around to make them look like the “bad guy”.
These silence breakers have definitely started a revolution, helping others to get up the strength to tell their story. There are women and men who have come forward to break their silence and they are of all races, occupations, and income classes. They now have a voice and there are, now, plenty of people listening.
My church does a corporate fast together every year. I am currently participating and on January 28, it will be over and we will celebrate what we learned throughout our time of fasting and prayer and if we have already had some victories. Well, it is over by the time this is posted but I am sharing with you a victory for me. I kept my secret of being sexual molested as a child for a very long time because I didn’t want to hurt my family. The person that they saw as a Christian, family-loving, God-fearing man put his hands on me from the age of 7 until I was 12 years old (when I was able to be home by myself). I am not going into details, not even mentioning his name. When I became an adult and we had a chance to be alone before he expired, he asked me for my forgiveness and I gave it to him because I loved him, God loved him. He was the only example of a good man that I knew, but I also knew that he was sick and him acknowledging what he did to me should have freed us both. I still had to live with it though. I still had to go on and I didn’t want anyone to say that I wasn’t being truthful because they knew another man. I know that he loved me and I loved him too. Sometimes the things that people struggle with cannot be helped and it is truly a war that goes on in us that we have to actually fight, not bury. So, my secret is no longer a secret. I may have shared it with a few but now, its with you…all of you. And it will be hard for some to read but it is freeing for me. That is what matters.
So in the spirit of the #MeToo movement, I join the fight and say…