A few days ago I posted about the #metoo movement on social media. I have had many, many people come to me saying other people are saying I was specifically implying Westside family church and members of its staff had sexually harassed me. I absolutely was not in any way implying such a thing, and am shocked and horrified.
My original statement read,
“The churches and church culture I have been a part of my whole life are not immune to sexual harassment. I found walls & fortresses protecting the institution, not its people, Insurmountable for women like me. #metoo.”
I followed up that statement with these words-
“So, the counter balance to my #metoo post—I wholeheartedly believe there are way more good guys than bad guys. Grateful to know more than a few.”
The purpose of my statement was to raise awareness that the issue of sexual harassment is inside the church walls, as well as outside, because people are people wherever you go. It’s human nature. It’s unacceptable behavior that needs to stop.
The facts of what happened to me, and again, I am an extremely private person and it is painful but necessary to share this information-
-Yes, I have experienced sexual harassment at Westside. It in no way involved any staff member. It was from a person repeatedly making verbal unwarranted and unwanted gross suggestions. He thought he was funny. I thought so for about 2 seconds the first time it happened, then not so much the second, third, forth…
Yes, my husband is aware. Rob and I have an extremely deep and close relationship. He is my soulmate, and at times feels like the other half of my soul. We have taken appropriate measures. We both agree no further action needs to be taken in regards to this individual
The last church I was a part of, yes, it happened there too. Not just to me, but many, many of my friends. Those stories are theirs to tell.
Sexual harassment is present in every facet of our shared humanity. Online porn fuels the fire and normalizes inappropriate behavior. It absolutely does not shock me when it happens, but it most certainly does sadden me.
Speak up. Men, women, transgender friends…SPEAK UP for yourselves. You matter. Your story matters. You are beautiful and loved and good and noble and true. You are God the Father’s best idea. You are his Beloved child.
You are not alone. Never, ever. #metoo.