Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse, specifically in light of the recent sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Many men and women have been coming forward to tell their stories via the viral hashtag #WHYIDIDNTREPORT. Unfortunately, I know many women and men have dealt with unwanted advances at some point in their lives. Regardless of *when* someone chooses to report abuse that has happened to them (that moment, or 35 years later), every person should be respected and given the liberty to speak their truth in a time frame that is suitable to their needs. Their decision is not up for public consumption. The stigma around “coming forward” is not as easy as some might think. It’s not so simple, to call 911 on someone that you know and love, or to speak up and have no one believe you.
There has been a lot of discussion around sexual harassment in the workplace. Many women in the tech industry have come forward to share their stories of investors crossing the line. Unfortunately, I know that so many women have dealt with unwanted advances at some point in their lives. I happened to know one of the women who recently told her story in the New York Times. I remember looking on Twitter - there were women applauding her, women criticizing her, and women who stayed out of the conversation entirely. There is a lot of stigma around “telling your truth.
Like many of us, I have encountered unwanted advances in the workplace, and there were so many times I tried to sweep those advances under the rug or convinced myself they "didn’t mean any harm!"