Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

It's #NotOkay: thousands share sexual assault stories online after Trump comments


The airing of Donald Trump’s comments about groping women prompted a wave of condemnation and debate last week, after the presidential candidate graphically boasted of being able to do whatever he wanted thanks to his fame.

And though he and his supporters have attempted to defend and soften his words as “locker-room banter”, many more have pointed out that such ‘banter’ reinforces misogynistic attitudes and normalises sexual violence.

Now women worldwide are flooding Twitter with their own experiences of assault, highlighting that rape culture is still very much a problem.

In the 2005 tape, Trump is bragging to TV host Billy Bush about grabbing women while on his way to film a cameo on US soap Days of Our Lives, and says “When you're a star they let you do it […] Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

billy bush

Access Hollywood's Billy Bush

Shortly after the recording surfaced, writer Kelly Oxford tweeted her first experience of sexual assault, asking others to do so too.

Within hours, tens of thousands of women had responded, many using the hashtag #NotOkay. Some said it was the very first time they’d spoken of what happened to them.

Following Oxford's call on Friday, thousands of tweets rolled in over the weekend and continue to appear both under the hashtag and as replies to her original post. The Canadian writer has highlighted many by ‘liking’ them on her account, which can be viewed here.

While how common sexual assault is will no doubt be of little surprise to most women, the sheer volume of experiences now being shared publicly on Twitter is training an important spotlight on the issue.

Oxford, author of best-selling Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar, described five of her own experiences, and later posted, “Women have tweeted me sexual assault stories for 14 hours straight. Minimum 50 per minute. harrowing. Do not ignore.”

In the Access Hollywood footage, unaired at the time, Trump initially talks of having “moved on” a married woman and “failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her […] I moved on her like a bitch”, before they spot actor Arianne Zucker and discuss her before meeting her.

“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,” says Trump. “You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Bush responds, “Whatever you want.”

Trump says: “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Host Bush has now been suspended following the tape's release, while Trump released a statement saying, “This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close.”

Images: Rex Features


kim kardashian 2.jpg

Kim Kardashian assaulted - are we becoming desensitised?

chelsea handler.jpg

Chelsea Handler’s powerful message to men who tell women to smile

it happened.jpg

Powerful photos depicting true stories of rape survivors go viral


The best A-list Instagrams from the weekend

From Lupita Nyong’o’s chilled afternoon to Serena Williams’ girls’ night out

by Nicola Colyer
21 Aug 2017

UKIP candidate suggests paying British Indians to leave the UK

And Twitter responds perfectly

by Moya Crockett
21 Aug 2017

Elisabeth Moss denies that Scientology is anything like Gilead

The Handmaid’s Tale star discusses the parallels between her show and her faith.

by Moya Crockett
21 Aug 2017

JK Rowling spots mansplainer in the wild, and deals with him perfectly

The Harry Potter author won’t let any woman’s confidence be knocked by mansplaining

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Aug 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicki Minaj’s vintage look to a Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants reunion

by Nicola Colyer
18 Aug 2017

Chris Brown tried to excuse his attack on Rihanna, and it’s not OK

“Violence is a choice he made – and he alone is responsible for it”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

“I feel like people think I’m mean”

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

This Hocus Pocus star’s pregnancy announcement is pure 90s perfection

“I smell children…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Anna Faris on knowing when to call time on an unhappy relationship

“Don’t be afraid to seek your independence”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Why Taylor Swift’s sexual assault verdict is a victory for womankind

The pop star has completely changed the narrative

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017