Note: Content warning for sexual assault and violence in this article.
On Tuesday women began using the hashtag #WhenIWas on Twitter to share their experiences with childhood sexual harassment. The hashtag was started by Everyday Sexism ”to reveal just how early and severe first experiences of sexism, harassment, discrimination and violence can be.”
The hashtag quickly went viral, featuring thousands of women, from all over the world, and their stories about sexual harassment from when they were teens, preteens, and even when they were young children.
Here are a few of the Tweets we found most unsettling:
#Wheniwas in HS, I was sexually harassed. Counsellor told me to show school spirit: if offenders were suspended, the hockey team wld lose.
— Permanent Side Eye (@sarahkerr81) April 19, 2016
#WhenIWas 5, I was told to keep my mouth shut abt what happened to me bc it would ruin a "good man's reputation" even if it ruined my life
— queen of the rats 👑🐀🔜 Crush AZ (@vibinviv) April 19, 2016
#wheniwas 13 I was sexually assaulted in a store by owner. In court he said it was ok as I was fat & ugly so no one would want me anyway
— Girl Interested (@girlinterested) April 19, 2016
#WhenIWas 11 I learned that saying no is dangerous. A boy in my grade asked me to "go out with him". I said no. He punched me.
— Menolly (@Menolly07) April 19, 2016
— Catrin 🏳️🌈 (@catrincooper) April 19, 2016
If this is something you’ve experienced and you feel comfortable sharing, and you’d like to take part in the conversation, you can do so on Twitter. But regardless, please know that you are not alone and you deserve to feel and be safe.