Friday afternoon, a leaked audio tape revealed Donald Trump in an explicit conversation that captured the Republican presidential nominee bragging that wealth and fame gave him special permission to grope and grab women as he pleased.
"Grab them by the p----y," Trump says on the audio clip. "You can do anything."
After swift social media outrage and an apology from the candidate, many Republican leaders have retracted their support for the presidential candidate. Trump's wife, Melania, released a statement, in which she described her husband’s words as “unacceptable and offensive.”
Thousands of women online responded to the controversy by sharing their earliest memories of sexual assault. Author Kelly Oxford asked women to join her in sharing stories to highlight how often women are subject to this kind of behavior.
She wrote, "Tweet me your first assaults. They aren't just stats. I'll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my 'p---y' and smiles at me, I'm 12."
One by one, the stories poured in. Some women shared stories from when they were as young as 7, and some when they were teenagers, or some while receiving medical care or at work.
- A daycare teacher who took a 7-year-old out for ice cream and kissed her on the neck.
- A man on a New York subway pulled up her skirt from behind and thrust his hand between her legs.
- Prison guards cat-called her while she was visiting her brother in a New Jersey prison.
Local women weighed in, too.
Trump's remarks also prompted actress Amber Tamblyn to post a story on Instagram about her own experience with sexual abuse.