With #MeToo, women in Hawaii and nationally are breaking their silence on sexual violence

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Women across the nation and in Hawaii are coming forward with their stories of sexual abuse and harassment as part of a viral social media hashtag campaign called #MeToo.

It's all in response to the Harvey Weinstein sex assault controversy rocking Hollywood.

Now, a leader in Hawaii's advocacy community is sharing her story.

Judith Clark is executive director of the Hawaii Youth Services Network. And as child, she was sexually assaulted by a pedophile bus driver.

"About once a week he would pick a little girl to be the bus monitor. I lasted only one day because I did not want to hug and kiss this grossly fat man," said Clark.

And when she was 18, Clark said, she was raped by her boyfriend.

"Those memories would come back of him forcing me down on the floor telling me that if I tried to resist he would hurt me," she said.

Sex Abuse Treatment Center 24-hour hotline: (808) 524-7273

Today, Clark advocates for the Hawaii Says No More campaign, which like #MeToo spreads awareness about sexual violence.

Clark said the Weinsten scandal has had a silver lining: It's broken years of silence.

"I think this has prompted a lot of women to come forward and talk about their experiences for the first time in their lives," she said.

Justin Murakami, policy research associate with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center at Kapiolani Medical Center, said awareness campaigns like #MeToo demonstrate "how widespread the issue of sexual violence is."

Murakami has been advocating for schoolwide sexual violence prevention education.

"It is conceivable a student may go through their entire career pre K through 12th grade in the DOE system and never receive any specific sexual violence prevention education," he said.

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