A new video from the YouTube channel Cut shows just how difficult it can be for parents to have a nuanced and educational discussion about sexual assault with their children.
The video, “Parents Explain #MeToo,” was published Monday and features three parents discussing the Me Too movement with their respective children. The youngest kid, Nolan, appears to be in elementary school and has the discussion of sexual abuse with his mother, Nicole. Ileana appears to be in middle school and also chats about the issue with her mother. The oldest kid featured in the video, Mieraye, and her mother share stories of sexual harassment and assault, and how they can combat these behaviors.
“What do you know about the Me Too movement?” Ileana’s mother asks her. When Ileana responds to her mother that she doesn’t know what Me Too is, her mother explains: “It’s a movement that came about to help women express what has happened to them, and not keep quiet.”
In a more emotional part of the conversation, Nicole explains to Nolan what sexual abuse is and reveals that she was assaulted when she was younger.
“Sexual assault is where people do inappropriate things to other people including things with the private parts we just talked about. So a lot of people are scared to talk about when those bad things happen to them, OK?” Nicole tells her young son. “It happens to a lot of men and women, boys and girls. It happened to me when I was younger, I didn’t even tell Daddy until two years ago.”
“I think it’s important for you to know because these things can happen to kids, too,” Nicole added. “We just need to establish the ‘no means no’ rule.”
At one point in the video, Ileana breaks down crying after she tries to talk about an inappropriate incident that happened to her at school. Her mother gives her a big hug.
“It’s OK to talk about these things,” she tells Ileana. “And that is the right thing to do, is to tell somebody right away. And you have to learn how to always speak up and don’t let anybody ever take advantage of you. I am beyond proud of you. This is never OK. And it’s never your fault.”