To tell my story as a date rape survivor and communicate my message in a way that can help the most people.

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's Not OK

The past few weeks have been happily busy for me as I work and volunteer and throw in a few social activities here and there. I've had the opportunity to meet some amazing new people some of which have become my friends. Since moving out to LA new friendships have been slow in coming but I knew if I was patient those important connections would cultivate. My recent part-time job has allowed me to be exposed to some very interesting people all with their own unique story to tell. Each also accepting and supportive of my own story. It's inspiring! Recently, as a large group of us sat around chatting, discussions of a previous work environment involving a very uncomfortable experience some women had were brought up. I listened to what several had to say and filed it away in my mind. We were separated for the remainder of our work day and the subject wasn't revisited.

I got home late that night but when I woke up the next morning I started to think more about what was shared with me by those women the night before. I became angry about what they had to experience and decided when I saw them that evening I would bring up what I do as a public speaker and advocate of sexual assault awareness and offer my support. My instincts told me that these women were strong and outspoken and most likely receptive to what I had in mind. I approached one of the girls shared my idea and she couldn't have said Yes to me fast enough telling me she had already considered taking action. She provided me her information along with a friend of hers also and I told her I would get working on some ideas how we could move forward to report the offensive behavior.

Although I can't discuss in detail just yet what happened because it's not my story to tell I can say that a man hired as an entertainer frequently used vulgar, offensive language, stories and jokes in his routine. The women were working while this was going on. He is clearly only moderately talented because there are plenty of entertainers out there who do not lower their standards to such a level in order to get reactions from an audience. We all have varying standards of tolerance when it comes to things that may be considered off color and even one woman's disapproval should not be ignored but this was more than enough women to organize a group and lodge a complaint. Especially when one woman has heard the dialogue repeated from this "entertainer" before. We have power in numbers.

The point I'm trying to get across is that women should never be hesitant or afraid to speak up because there may be others who are thinking the same thing. The only way we can stop this type of bad behavior is to call out the offender to someone in authority and make them aware that It's Not OK!

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