The sleeping pill, and the next thing I knew,

The scariest night of my life was
when I was fifteen years old. He’d slipped me a sleeping pill, and the next
thing I knew, I was alone. I was alone with him.

I thought I was going to die that night. Never in a thousand years would I have
imagined my lifelong dream turning into a living nightmare. It had been my
dream to compete for the USA Gymnastics team since I was only eight years old.

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I had never thought that my career would’ve ended like this. I had stayed quiet
since I was thirteen, which was the first time I had ever gotten molested by
Larry Nassar. I’m no longer keeping my silence anymore. My name is McKayla
Maroney, and I stand with the hashtag; #MeToo, and all the women that have
endured something like this throughout their lifetime.

 

I want you all to know, that this
is happening everywhere. In Hollywood, in the USA Olympic team, in your town.

Rape, manipulation and molestation are all real and serious issues that need to
be acknowledged and eliminated. People are afraid to speak up in fear that their
abuser will retaliate and will harm them even more. Us as women, are bonding
together and speaking up. The hashtag: #MeToo, empowers us. It gives us a voice
that will be heard. It gives us the opportunity to stand united and to show our
abusers that we are strong.

 

The hashtag first appeared in October
2017, encouraged by an actress named Alyssa Milano. Once created, many women
began to share their stories with it, and many celebrities advocated for it.

One of the most notable #MeToo stories was Ashley Judd’s. Her boundaries had
been crossed by a man named Harvey Weinstein in 1997, almost 20 years ago. He
was a man in a powerful position who tried to coerce a woman into bed with him.

This wasn’t the only attempt he had made though. In Hollywood, Weinstein’s behavior
had been noted throughout the community. It had given many people warnings, but
it couldn’t stop the abuse he inflicted upon others what so ever.

 

            When she
first went on record of his actions in the New York TIMES, her voice was heard. To her dismay, Harvey denied her claims
and even denied having nonconsensual sex with more women who had spoken up
against him. In this case, what is there to do? Where is there to go? Is there
even any hope for the rest of us? The women who doesn’t have a social platform
to get awareness; the ones who won’t be heard? There truly is no way to know
and its terrifying. #MeToo has given these women a chance to be heard, and so far,
it’s working.

 

            Many of you
might think that this has