me too

‘You’re going to do exactly what I tell you.’ He grabbed my throat. The devil was staring me in the face. Fear washed over my body.’: Young woman survives sexual assault in woods, ‘I refuse to hide. I need others to know they aren’t alone’

“A boat was pulling up, and two guys were inside. They said, ‘Who is this?’ I was confused. He was locking up his truck and his friends told him to hurry the hell up. He responded, ‘Hey at least I brought you guys some tail.’ My stomach sank, my heart started to race. I had recently been told I overreact…was this just an overreaction to a dumb joke? I went in the tent to grab a shirt because I was freezing. He followed me in and starting kissing me. My ‘no’ didn’t matter. I burst into tears. He looked at me with disgust. ‘I don’t like your attitude.’”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘Papa, please back up!’ He doesn’t move. ‘Oh, relax. I can play how I want with her,’ he ruffles her blonde hair.’: Mom stands up to grandfather for inappropriate touching, teaches 3-year-old daughter she is ‘allowed, expected’ to say no

“A grown man looms behind my 3-year-old daughter. He will poke or tickle her, and she responds by shrinking. ‘Mae.’ My tone cuts through the noise. She does not look at me. ‘Mae.’ I start again. ‘You can tell him no.’ As I say the words, my stepfather leans in closer. His grin taunts me as my daughter tries to escape his hot breath. I repeat myself. She finally peeks up at me. ‘Mama…can you say it?’”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘An older man said to my sister, ‘Let me get a taste of that.’ He was sticking his tongue out and wiggling it. She instantly turned red. She was 12. He laughed and I did, too. I don’t know why, but I did.’

“This is what it REALLY means to be a man. It’s kissing my wife’s stomach and telling her she’s beautiful, even with her c-section scar and stretch marks. It’s telling my daughter ‘Honey, OWN that Jersey’ when she comes home from school crying after a boy told her to take it off because girls ‘don’t play’ sports.”

‘My boss asked me, ‘Are you a virgin?’ I was shocked. He said, ‘We as older people don’t do it like you anymore.’ He took the longest way to get there, but I kept quiet. HE’S MY BOSS, after all.’: Woman recounts sexual assault

“As we got inside, I felt him looking at me. You just get the feeling when someone stares at you. I turned around. He stared at me. I was uncomfortable. He was 30 years older than me. I was scared to go to work. But I faced him. I faced my fears.”

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