In 1998 I was violently assaulted after a party in college. I told no one for years. Reason: I thought it was my fault. I was 22.
In 2001 I was harassed at work through inappropriate messages and emails. I went to HR. It continued. I didn't complain about it again. Reason: I thought it was my fault. I was 25.
In 2002 rumors of my sexual history were common talk around the office. I didn't complain, I stopped socializing with people at work. Reason: I thought it was my fault. I was 26.
In 2015 I sat in a room with a male peer and a male subordinate. The peer only spoke with the man, only looked at the man. It was my meeting. I cried in my office later that day. I told other women. It happened to them too. We complained to HR. It stopped, for a while. I was 39.
From 16 until 39 I was leered at, my breasts were talked to, and I was subject to inappropriate comments about my attire and cleavage. I never complained. Reasons: I thought it was my fault, I didn't want to embarrass anyone. I had a breast reduction at 39. It didn't stop.
In 2017 I wrote about my experiences. I didn't name names. Reasons: I don't want to embarrass anyone, I still think it's my fault, I worry no one will believe me now, I think it's too late. I am 41.
It happened to me too, and I still can't point the finger. It took a New York Times article to get some of the most powerful women in Hollywood to come forward. How can we make it easier for women to tell their story? This movement helps. Maybe next time it happens I will name names, maybe, if we keep telling our stories, it will stop happening.
Image credit: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-should-you-take-workplace-harassment-seriously-harleen-kaur/