NEW YORK — New York actress and activist Jessica Kahan has a message for the #MeToo movement, and for anyone who has experienced sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace: Keep fighting.
Kahan, who has been outspoken about the issue since she became a leading voice in the #metoo movement, said in an interview with MTV News that she is in a “very difficult situation.”
The 28-year-old actress said she is working on her memoir about her experiences with sexual harassment and abuse, but said she doesn’t want to give the book away.
“I think I should be able to tell my story,” she said.
“I have had so much support and love from the #Metoo movement.
I know I’ve been attacked and I know it’s a very serious problem and I have to fight for it.”
In a separate interview with TMZ, Kahan said she plans to publish the memoir when it’s ready to be published, but she added that it will take time.
“We have a lot of work to do,” she told the site.
“We have to continue the fight, and the fight is with me and with the people that have been in my life, because it’s my story.”
Kahan said her story is not a perfect one.
Her childhood, growing up poor, in an abusive home and living with severe mental illness were part of her trauma, she said, but it was her father who was responsible for the abuse.
“There was abuse, there was neglect, there were sexual assaults,” she recalled.
“And my dad didn’t do anything.
He didn’t make me do what I did.”
She said she believes she is being targeted for her gender, and that her experiences of sexual abuse are part of a larger story about the underrepresentation of women in the business world.
“What happens to women in this industry is that they’re not valued.
We’re told that we’re not capable of doing anything, and they don’t believe that,” she continued.
“It’s like a black hole, it’s so big and so deep.
And they’re constantly telling us to fight, because we’re supposed to be powerless.
It’s so dehumanizing.”
When asked if she believes her own experiences are representative of the industry, Kahn said she thinks so.
“Every single day I’m fighting to be able and to be a better person and a better activist,” she added.
“Because every single day, I’m doing the things that I want to do and doing the work that I’m supposed to do, and people are still going to attack me and say, ‘She doesn’t have enough courage.'”
For more on the #meToo movement and the upcoming #metoolatm event, check out MTV News’ cover story on Kahan, Jessica Kagan, and more.