#Metoo wasn’t an overnight movement, it was a gradual climb.
In 2006, Tarana Burke first coined the phrase “Me Too” noting the power that was found in those two simple words. As someone who had experienced sexual assault Tarana was looking for a way to give women and girls of color who had survived sexual violence the words and strength necessary to find ‘empowerment through empathy.’ Read the #Metoo Pioneers article titled Meet the woman who coined ‘Me Too’ 10 years ago — to help women of color.
Eleven years later a #MeToo tweet from Alyssa Milano that encouraged women to share their stories went viral. Suddenly a national movement erupted. What felt like an overnight whirlwind had in fact been slowly growing as more and more women were finding their voice, sharing their stories, supporting one another, and for once listening and believing the testimonies being given.
The fact is that every woman who grabbed on to the #MeToo movement had a story that needed to be told. For some that story was new, days or weeks old. For others it happened years prior, even a lifetime ago. It was a gradual progression that erupted in a moment.
Many had not shared their story before. They found courage in those who had been speaking up over the years, like Tarana and Alyssa, who forged a path and primed people’s hearts to be receptive to a national movement. The pioneers of #MeToo told their stories behind closed doors, to judges and lawyers and journalist who often would brush them aside. Yet they never gave up believing that their stories needed to be heard. Believing their stories, my story “The Case from Hell (and Back)”, would bring healing and peace to those who had survived sexual violence. The sacrifice of the #metoo pioneers who were willing to be transparent even amidst the victim blaming, disbelief, and blindness to justice paved the way for the #MeToo movement that took off in 2017 and continues today.
In 1989 I told my story. And then, filled with guilt at tearing our family apart, I took it back.
I was 15 years old and over the years I began to blame myself for the pain I felt. My story began at the age of 7. It wasn’t until I was 43 that I was able to form the words to give my testimony and share that Love Is The Answer, God Is The Cure.
Aimee Cabo Nikolov is a Cuban American who has lived most of her life in Miami. She is a trained nurse and the president and owner of IMIC, Inc, a medical research company in Palmetto Bay. Aimee is also the author of Love is the Answer God is the Cure.