FriENEMY Lines | Manhattan Times

By Andrea Arroyo

When the #MeToo movement came into the American consciousness last year, I felt like I could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. I was sure public acknowledgment of the prevalence of sexual violence was going to generate a cultural shift that would change women’s lives for the better.

I was energized by the women who raised their voices and by a world that listened. Yes, change is happening; we are finally moving forward.

Although it will never be easy, women will feel safe enough to speak out when we are harassed, assaulted or discriminated against, and we will be believed and supported.

I was shocked back into reality recently, when a man who I considered a close friend for decades groped me as his wife and my husband were looking away. In that instant, with a blatant violation of my boundaries, he crossed over into enemy lines.

Like every woman I’ve spoken to, I have been the target of this kind of sexual violence before. But it seemed impossible that a friend, who is a prominent changemaker, would do something so vile to me. If I am not safe around my best friends – “the good guys” – am I safe anywhere?

When I confronted him, he apologized (kind of) while doing his best to manipulate me into feeling sorry for him, which I did.

Read more: FriENEMY Lines | Manhattan Times

Related: Me Too | Manhattan Times

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