On Friday, shortly after the release of a vulgar 2005 tape where Donald Trump can be heard talking about women like they’re objects to be grabbed and fondled, comedian Kelly Oxford asked her female followers on Twitter to share their sexual assault stories. “Women: tweet me your first assaults. they aren’t just stats. I’ll go first,” she tweeted. “Old man on city bus grabs my ‘p*ssy’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.” The responses are difficult to get through, but important to read — one user wrote, “I won’t give details, but I was 12, and he went to jail,” while another added, “Man rubbed against my ass on the train then blew me a kiss, I was in fifth grade on a school trip.” Trump’s words aren’t just “locker room” talk; they happen every day to millions of women.
Including Amber Tamblyn, who shared her sexual abuse story on Instagram.
“A very long time ago I ended a long emotionally and physically abusive relationship with a man I had been with for some time,” the actress wrote. “One night I was at a show with a couple girlfriends in Hollywood, listening to a DJ we all loved. I knew there was a chance my ex could show up, but I felt protected with my girls around me. Without going into all the of the details, I will tell you that my ex did show up, and came up to me in the crowd. He’s a big guy, taller than me. The minute he saw me, he picked me up with one hand by my hair and with his other hand, he grabbed me under my skirt by my vagina — my p*ssy? — and lifted me up off the floor, literally, and carried me, like something he owned, like a piece of trash, out of the club.”
His fingers were practically inside of me, his other hand wrapped tightly around my hair. I screamed and kicked and cried. He carried me this way, suspended by his hands, all the way across the room, pushing past people until he got to the front door. My friends ran after him, trying to stop him. We got to the front door and I thank God his brothers were also there and intervened. In the scuffle he grabbed at my clothes, trying to hold onto me, screaming at me, and inadvertently ripped off my grandmother’s necklace, which I was wearing. The rest of this night is a blur I do not remember. How I got out to the car. How I got away from him that night. I never returned for my necklace either. That part of my body, which the current Presidential Nominee of the United States Donald Trump recently described as something he’d like to grab a woman by, was bruised from my ex-boyfriend’s violence for at least the next week. I had a hard time wearing jeans. I couldn’t sleep without a pillow between my legs to create space. To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame. I am afraid my mom will read this post. I’m even more afraid that my father could ever know this story. That it would break his heart. I couldn’t take that. But you understand, don’t you? I needed to tell a story.
Her story made an impression. “This is why it’s so personal,” an Instagram follower wrote. “When a presidential nominee triggers the PTSD I have from my sexual assault, there’s a problem. Thank you for your voice. You are loved [and] believed.” Trump’s disgusting comments threaten to normalize his “boys will boys” actions, and no amount of forced apologies will change that.