Perhaps you think waiting 20 years is too long to wait to speak up. I don’t and here’s why.
20 years is time to heal, grow past trauma, and regain personal power. It’s time to forget and bury. It’s the time necessary because back then, no one spoke up and the unwritten violent rule of silence to survive was in place.
Yes, I said violent.
It’s violence sexual harassed people face. First the harassment violates the person, then the silent overwhelming pressure of shame gags us, and finally the last act of violence then was people were meant to keep their mouths shut.
And 20 years later you know what victims face? Doubt. The burden of proof. Remebering and reliving a past they kept buried. Being triggered by all these terrible stories.
These are reasons I kept quiet after I was thrown on a table and dry humped in front of a group of people.
- They all laughed.
- Most of those who witnessed this horrendous act of sexual harassment were my bosses on a movie set. The aggressor was the first AD.
- They didn’t care. Producers, assistant director, line producers, drivers, knew it was wrong and still no one pulled him off.
- He didn’t get in trouble.
- I probably tried to uncomfortably laugh it off because in a room full of men no one had my back.
- You may be screaming at the screen, you should’ve quit and gone home.
- I was shooting on location and rented my own home out so I had no place to go. Literally, my personal things were in storage and I had no apartment to run back to.
- Who should I call? If the producers saw and the first AD did it, where was I supposed to go?
See, not so easy.
Why did I share my story one-and-a-half-years ago? Because I have a daughter and I want to empower her. Make sure she knows what’s right and wrong. That proving she’s strong enough is never the right reason to stay. Becasue that shit would never fly with me again. I’d fight back, if not in the moment, then after. I wouldn’t remain silent. I can say this because I’ve had 20 years to grow strong.
The media is full of stories. Reading them made me cry for 2 weeks remembering details of my abuse. A reporter(s) reached out. My abuser denied it.
And there you have it folks. A she said, he said, situation. And he is a well-known Hollywood producer and assistant director. I’m not.
The Director’s Guild of America recently published their no tolerance policy on their website. But they don’t have a form or a way I can find to file a complaint against a member. So really, how is that policy working?
20 years may be a long time to wait, but I don’t think so. The anchor of pain wraps its chain around a victim and holds them in place, may even drown them, if they speak.
And here’s my other thought. It’s never just one. If a person is so bold as to do what they did to me, do you think it was their first time? Or last? Do sexual predators ever have one victim?
I don’t think so.