A humanitarian from Saskatchewan who was assaulted on a work trip says the number of survivors who are speaking out demonstrates that the world is ready for change.
Human rights lawyer Megan Nobert credits the #metoo campaign with having empowered people to come forward who weren't ready to before.
"It's fantastic," Nobert said. "There's nothing better than the empowerment of survivors."
Nobert knows how difficult that can be. She spoke to the media about her assault just four months after it happened.
"It was the most terrifying thing that I've ever done. I don't know if I was necessarily ready, but it was the right thing to do. I couldn't stay silent," she said.
Just over two years ago, Nobert founded the Report The Abuse program. She created the network after being raped by another aid worker while on assignment overseas. At the time, she said she didn't know how common her experience was in the industry.
Soon, hundreds of people came forward to share their story — some for the first time ever.
"I thought it was interesting in an otherwise quite liberal work world that an issue like sexual violence is so stigmatized and is so shameful," Nobert said. "I think you can make a lot of comparisons to the entertainment industry which is a similarly liberal work environment but where survivors haven't felt that they could speak forward...I think mostly because of fear of retaliation, never getting a job again."
A real shift and hopes for the future
After survivors first came forward with allegations against director Harvey Weinstein, there has been a steady stream of allegations against others in the entertainment industry.
Nobert said speaking out is a good step, as it allowed her to take back her story of sexual violence and removed some of the power from her attacker.
Report the Abuse closed in August due to a lack of funding, but Nobert said she's glad to see that the movement hasn't gone away.
Just three years after her sexual assualt, Nobert will soon be heading back overseas and said she is looking forward to a better work environment. She said a number of humanitarian organizations have made changes, eliminating the culture that once allowed sexual abuse to occur.
Going forward, she said she wants to see accountability, justice, erasure of stigma, belief in survivors and an end to victim blaming.
"I think that we're heading in that right direction and I think that we don't deserve any less," she said.