For too long, sexual violence was something so deeply woven into the fabric of our everyday lives as to be rendered nearly invisible: the price you pay for working here or walking there, or inhabiting a particular body. Incidents of sexual harassment and assault, on the too rare occasions in which they were named, were viewed in isolation. Certainly, it was not a subject for the dinner table.
As viral hashtags like #MeToo shed light on the magnitude of this problem, they can also be deeply triggering. We see stories of friends and strangers whizzing through our social media feeds. Each week brings new headlines of the powerful dethroned, of long-hidden patterns of abuse finally exposed. Again and again, survivors are brought face to face with past traumas.
Women supporting one another is also a tale as old as time. Indeed, Tarana Burke launched the Me Too movement ten years before it became a hashtag, opening up curated resources and in-person support for survivors of sexual harassment and assault.
So: Pull up a seat. Take a deep breath. Go beyond your (brilliant, beautiful) brain and allow your (brilliant, beautiful) heart be held gently, if only for a night.