I was looking at my life, I mean, blog and it came to my attention that I talk about sexual assault a LOT. Like a lot a lot! I talked to a friend yesterday and another friend at 2am and as I’m having these conversations with very real people. They will be kept anonymous but since I have been so honest let me tell you the stats.
Extended and close family members. 5 or more. #themtoo
Black woman veteran upstanding member of our community who goes on a stroll through hell every day just to do what you don’t think of. #hertoo
Samoan man 270 lbs of muscle now but back then he wasn’t quite so big. Has massive scars from cut glass and beatings but it still one of the sweetest guys you’ll ever know #himtoo
Samoan woman a friend met on his mission. Broken life. Broken home. Broken family. #onthestreettoo
Maori woman a friend met on his mission using drugs to numb her pain, broken life, felt hopeless to fix anything #hertoo
A sister’s friend #hertoo
A friend’s mother #hertoo
A friend’s brothers- all of them #themtoo
A friend #hertoo
Tongan man’s older sister- and because of her story he is one of the sweetest men I know #himandhertoo
Navajo man’s sister and mother #familytoo
Samoan man’s spouse who pretends nothing happened because she doesn’t think he’ll understand her#hertoo
A friend of mine who is bisexual and whose church leader was going to “fix it” #hertoo
Filipino man’s cousin who still won’t tell anyone what happened #hertoo
American man who married a wife who was sexually abused #themtoo
Tongan man whose female cousin was raped by an uncle #familytoo
Korean woman trying to pull her life together and go to college and succeed but she’s so depressed about what happened #hertoo
Korean American woman who just wants to put it behind her #hertoo
Samoan girls who lie to protect a friend #friendstoo
American woman 21 who is in and out of the hospital constantly because of a lifetime of abuse. She wants to be an artist, but will she live long enough to fulfill that dream? #hertoo
American woman in her twenties who was raped at a party with witnesses watching and was raped again by the same guy because her friends who witnessed it forced her to ride with him in the car. Nearly dead of an eating disorder. Was kicked out of college for having too many reports of assault. #ourstudentstoo
American woman raped on an internship in PNG. Kicked out of school for not being able to regulate her usage of prescription medicines that were prescribed as a result of the assault to help her sleep. #ourstudentstoo
American woman from the deep South raped by her best friend in college. Loves children so much but can never have her own because of him. #hertoo
American woman who married a Hawaiian man who faced a nightmare in the form of his father #himtoo
White girl who was victimized by a Samoan man and is too scared of him and his family to come forward #hertoo
The other girls he raped while he was at BYUH whose reports were ignored or “lost”. Girls from Taiwan, America, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga #themtoo
Hawaiian woman groped at a church dance by a married Samoan man who never reported because she couldn’t handle it #hertoo
Sons who were abused by their Samoan father #sonstoo
American woman. Raging alcoholic because she never healed from being raped by her best friend.
The woman in and out of rehab her whole life because her grandmother handed her and her sisters over to their grandfather to be raped repeatedly #themtoo
The little girls sold out as prostitutes by their grandfather #kidstoo
The nonbinary individual who was lesbian and went to her bishop for help only to be raped in order to “fix her” #nonbinarytoo
Chinese woman raped repeatedly, been homeless, dropped out of college because her PTSD got so bad she just couldn’t do it anymore. #hertoo
Tongan man’s mother #hertoo
Tongan man’s sister #hertoo
Samoan man’s sisters #allofthem
Tongan friend of mine #himtoo
Maori brother’s sister. He is willing to do whatever he can to help anyone who is a victim. #themtoo
Maori man’s mother who had depression her whole life and never had the heart to tell her son why until he was a man #hertoo
Fijian man’s mother who got the hell out of that house to save her kids#hertoo
I can go on but aue. What a horrific picture that would paint in your mind and mine. I know these people they are my friends and family. How could something so tragic happen so frequently? And why do they only feel safe to come forward about it to someone like me? Why don’t they feel safe with their family, their church, their community? They are my friends, people I meet on the street, my gym buddies, my close friends and family. For them to go through this too?! Aiaue it’s too much!
I’m in a unique place, Hawaii. With everything that happens here and all the cultures of the world who stop by on vacation we get quite the mix plate of everybody. Being in a school that is one of the most diverse in the United States has a lot of pros, but one of the cons is the Title IX.
Every time I open my mouth to say something about my experience, someone knows someone, or someone is someone. All over this big blue marble we call earth. Doesn’t matter country color or culture everyone knows someone whether or not they know they know it.
My dream is that someday when I tell my story there won’t be anyone who gets it. That this will go away forever and no one will be able to relate.
But until then my ‘ohana, let’s keep talking about it. Predators hide more easily in the shadows than they do in the light. As long as we share our truth, we will find them, expose them for who they are, and slowly we can change this world to be safer for our little ones. And as it becomes more and more okay for us to be honest we will heal our scars too.
Mahalo and love ❤