"That has happened to me, I didn't find it funny. I know other women who have experienced the same," Oxford told NBC News.
She took to Twitter and urged her 708,000 followers to tweet her their first sexual assaults. She began with her own story, one of five she described since late Friday.
"I wanted to reach out to women and say — hey, we aren't statistics, we aren't sexual objects for men to joke about or touch or hurt. It's okay to talk about this," she wrote in response to emailed questions from NBC News.
The result has been an extraordinary outpouring of stories. By early Saturday, she was receiving 50 stories per minute.
"I can't keep track. Go on my feed right now and see how many come in every minute. This is unbelievable. Truly."
The stories, which can be viewed onher timeline and many with the hashtag #notokay, are a disturbing litany of all kinds of sexual abuse suffered by women, many when they were minors. Among the tales were three from comedian Sarah Silverman, who recounted her first assault episode from when she was 13 years old.
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The sheer number of stories hasn’t really surprised Oxford. "I haven't met a woman who doesn't have a story of abuse. It shouldn't surprise me that this extends beyond the women I am able to meet," she said.
The Canadian author said the response shows that women aren’t willing to make "concessions for abuse anymore" and she hopes the campaign will help women feel more empowered.
"If everyone could just see what I was seeing right now. Read the tweets being sent to me every second. If the ticker tape at the bottom of the TV were the stories women have been sending me, at the rate I have been sent them... it would feel like war."
She concluded: "In the 15 mins it has taken to respond to this, I have received 435 new accounts of abuse. In the time it took to write that sentence? 31."