AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Many of you woke up to tweets and Facebook statuses saying “Me Too.” Sexual harassment is a problem, and Monday, women worldwide raised voices against the abuse.
“I remember taking a shower after the first incident happened, and you’re just scrubbing forever because you just want everything off of you. You just feel… overwhelmingly dirty,” Aly Mitchell, a sexual assault victim, said. Twenty-four year old Mitchell is among the women who Monday are saying “Me Too.”
The movement started Sunday night when actress Alyssa Milano propelled the “Me too” campaign following allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Milano tweeted this: Asking women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted post “me too” to give people a “sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Mitchell shared a similar story of Weinstein’s allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace– except she said she couldn’t escape.
“When I finished basic training, I had to fly out to meet my command, and there were five of us, one of which was my boss, my BM1. We stayed there for a week in a hotel, and my BM1 one night got drunk and sexually assaulted me,” Mitchell told me. She always heard people in the Navy experienced sexual abuse more often than other military branches.”He continued to harass me with comments like my coveralls were tight, my butt was big. If we were in a room alone, he would grab my butt and stuff like that.”
When Mitchell reported it, though, the commanding officer said there was no evidence. Her abuser walked away clean.
Counselor Cynthia Gray expressed the importance of seeking support after a traumatizing event. “I also think all of us as friends, relatives could become better listeners, not so quick to move past it, not so quick to get over it. It’s also true that the reason we need professionals is because the amount we need to say about something that is traumatizing, is often more than a relative can hold.”
“The more you talk about it, from what I’ve learned, it helps you. It helps with the healing process,” Mitchell said. She told me, too, how important it is for witnesses to report sexual assault.
If you have experienced sexual assault, there is a national hotline called RAINN you can call to seek confidential support. That number is (800) 656-4673.