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Beyond #MeToo: A Former Abuser Repents

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Sixty-two-year-old Steve McMaryion of Los Angeles says it's now time for abusive men to acknowledge the harm they've done. (Courtesy Steve McMaryion)

The California Report's new series Beyond #MeToo: Abuse and Power Through a California Lens tackles many of the questions that have arisen in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and investigates how they play out in our lives, past the headlines.

Host John Sepulvado spoke with Silicon Valley Bureau Chief Tonya Mosley about a story she reported recently that is part of KQED’s #USToo series.

Mosley put out a call to hear people’s accounts of abuse, and a 62-year-old man named Steven McMaryion from Los Angeles called in to share his story of being an abuser for years. McMaryion acknowledges how much he hurt women, and he is outspoken about his repentance. He remembers when his abusive behavior began:

The first time I can remember actually physically abusing a woman I was about 16 years old. I was with a friend of mine and I witnessed him striking his girlfriend. And so I thought that was the right thing to do. So I did the same thing. I struck my girl. When I did she was very surprised. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she asked, ‘Why did you do that?’ And I really didn’t have an answer. I know it didn’t feel right but she didn’t leave. She stayed there. So that was the ticket for me to say it was OK.

McMaryion wanted to participate in the #MeToo movement by sharing his story.

I wanted to share the distortion of who I thought women were and that they were to be used. I realize now this is a time of healing and it feels good to be free to be able to say these things. You know I thank the Lord Most High for allowing me to be free enough to speak about the ugliness of that part of me. I really honestly believe that there are more men that need to see this within themselves.

Beyond #MeToo: A Former Abuser Repents

Beyond #MeToo: A Former Abuser Repents

Have you ever confronted someone who harassed you? Did you forgive them? How did you move past it, or is that even possible? Call us with your stories, and we’ll play some of them on The California Report: 415-553-2204.

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You can also email us with your contact information, and we’ll give you a call: calreport@kqed.org.

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