Earlier this year David adopted Cameron and Kiara. They have not seen their biological dad in nearly 9 years. That is more than half their lives. Today I started seeing the #metoo campaign online. Initially I thought I never had a #metoo story to share but then my ex husband sent me an sms asking if he could see the children (the same ones he has had absolutely zero contact with for over 8 years).
Turns out I do have a #metoo moment. Probably if I sat down to really think about there are more. I was in an unhappy marriage, we were both played our parts. I could have been kinder, he could have been kinder. The straw that broke the camels back was the night he hit me. He did not beat me in a rage. He simply slapped me, hard, across the face. I am not sure who was more shocked, him or me. My shock very quickly turned to fear. What was going to happen? Was I going to get out? Was he going to let me take my children? Was he going to hit me again?
It happened 11 years ago but I remember that night like it was yesterday. It still makes my heart beat a little faster when I think about it. I try not to think about it but sometimes it hits me. In that moment I became a undocumented statistic like pretty much every women I know.
By the time I got to the police station about a hour later, there was not even a mark. They did not believe me. They let me make a statement and open a case but no one followed up. No one even bothered to call me and no one ever called him.
I have never thought of myself as a victim. I was one of the very lucky woman who had support. I was able to get out that night. I had family who came immediately when I called and didn’t hesitate when I needed a place to stay. Not everyone has this. In fact few women have this luxury which results in women accepting abusive behaviour and situations.
It is a moment that will probably stay with me forever. It is a moment I hope none of my children ever have to experience. The reality is though that my girls will experience a #metoo moment. There isn’t much I can do to prevent it from happening but I can ensure that my boys know how to treat a woman with respect and that my girls know what behaviour is unacceptable.
You can read more about the #metoo “movement’ here.
Have you had a #metoo experience?
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