TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.


Tonight, I am angry.

I’m actually feeling a whole lot of things but I’m reading the news for the first time in a few days with tears streaming down my cheeks because a 14 year old girl was abused and more people seem to believe that she’s lying than telling the truth.

As I write these words, my whole body is shaking, because that’s what happens to a lot of assault survivors when they hear someone else’s story. Every single time I hear a story about sexual violence, I physically start shaking.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news, on October 29th, Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault. He has been accused by 14 men, 5 of them minors. Netflix quickly kicked him off of House of Cards. He has been removed from a finished move (All the Money in the World) and all his scenes will be re-shot with Christopher Plummer.

My twitter/instagram/facebook feed was not filled with people saying that those men who accused Spacey were lying. I didn’t see outrage that a show would be cancelled based on allegations before a trial. I didn’t even see a demand for a trial.

I saw what happened when ONE man accused Kevin Spacey of assault. I saw people assume it was a fact.

And now I’m watching as FOUR women are accusing Roy Moore of assault. One of them was 14 and he was 32.
Alabama’s State Auditor said this, “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist…Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus…There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.” (source)

WHAT? It’s cool that he was 32 and she was 14, because Jesus.

As more and more men and women are speaking up about the men who abused them, these are the responses I’m reading from the same people who believed the men who accused Kevin Spacey:

“This is a witch hunt”
“what happened to innocent until proven guilty?”
“these men will lose their jobs and their career over something a woman says”
“it’s a scary time to be a man right now”

And then those same people ask, “why don’t women speak up?” or “If it’s true…” or “Why do they take 10 years to speak up?”

Why are women overwhelmingly assumed to be guilty of lying while men are assumed to be innocent of assault? How many women benefit from speaking out? How many women are sitting at home, watching the news while crying and shaking because #metoo.

The problem has never been a victim staying silent, the problem is men assaulting women and men.

I tried speaking up.

I was getting sexually harassed by a male student online and in person. He threatened all sorts of horrible things and I was told to be quiet and ignore him by my parents, by the dean, and by my friends.

I told my best male friend about his roommate sending me sexual messages on AOL instant messenger for weeks. He didn’t believe me. The roommate was studying to be a worship leader and I was told, “you must have misinterpreted what you read”.

I told someone about how his friend would grab my ass every time I went into the copy room at work. He said, “he would never do that, he’s in school to be a youth minister”.

I spoke up, I spoke up, I spoke up.

I have so many more stories like this.
Women close to me have so many stories like this.
They spoke up and no one believed them, they were told they were overreacting, that the man was “just kidding”.

People close to them assumed they were lying and that the man was telling the truth.

Why do people believe a man when he accuses another man of assault, but not a woman who accuses a man of assault?
What will it take for people to believe that women are telling the truth?
When will sexual assault be a crime and not “inappropriate behavior” and “locker room talk”?

I’m so tired of this. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.

To all the women out there, I believe you.


19 comments on “#believewomen

  1. All of the news about sexual assault in the entertainment industry is ridiculous. I’m saddened that so many famous stars have been sexually assaulting people for YEARS because people have been too afraid to come forward.

    Sondra xx

  2. I am beyond sorry to hear that you endured such a traumatic experience. I experienced something similar earlier this year and have not been able to of write about it yet. This is so powerful how you were able to write about your experience and speak out.

  3. I have experienced sexual abuse as a child and assault and rape as an adult. Even just typing that here is hard because there is always that underlying fear I won’t be believed. Everyone has doubts and questions, and my childhood brain actually blocked a lot of the memories so I cannot recall the details. To some people, this makes me a liar who is trying to either get attention or want to hurt someone unnecessarily. It is a f**ked up world where I can’t just say “hey, this happened to me” and it just be accepted as is.

  4. I’m so sorry that you had to endure abuse. It is absolutely not okay that women are brushed aside and men are believed. Of course I don’t want anyone to be falsely accused of any crime, but neither do I want anyone’s cries for help to be ignored. Everyone deserves to be believed and every case investigated. Every victim should be heard.

  5. The thick layer of dirt under Hollywood’s red carpet is ugly. Most of the women who came forward are so scared of reprisal and not being believed. As women we need to show them our support.

  6. I am so sorry. This is not okay. Never. I always believe women. It’s a shame when this sort of thing happens. Not even a shame. A tragedy because NO ONE should be harassed. Ever.

  7. Sadly I know all too well how quickly people are to dismiss us when we speak out. I wrote a post about this the other day about my experiences with sexual assault and abuse, yet noone was punished for what they did. This is the third rape case that I have have heard today and it makes my heart break. Sexual abuse, assault or harassment is never ok in any shape or form. I am sorry to hear that this happened to you as well 🙁 x

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