#ChurchToo: abuse survivors speak out about harassment in their religious communities


November 22, 2017

By Tara Isabella Burton

The latest trending Twitter hashtag encourages Christians to come forward.

A woman who revealed her rape during a youth group prayer section, only to be asked if she’d repented.

Another who fled an abusive marriage, only to be told by her pastor to return home and “submit” to her husband’s will.

Another who, as a child, was told to “cover up” after a male classmate had been caught masturbating while looking at her.

Another who felt compelled to get an abortion lest her church community find out she’d been — in their eyes — impure.

These are just a few of the stories being told right now on Twitter using the hashtag #ChurchToo: a religious response to #MeToo: an outline outpouring of stories about sexual assault. Started by Twitter users Emily Joy, a spoken word poet and yoga teacher, and writer Hannah Paasch, the hashtag is designed as space for people who have suffered from the structural sexism they see as embedded in many church cultures to speak about their experiences.

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