The hashtag #notokay was trending on social media as thousands of women shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, in response to a video in which Donald Trump is heard making lewd comments about women.

In the video, recorded in 2005 during a taped an appearance on "Access Hollywood", the Republican presidential nominee is heard referring to women in the most vulgar terms, as he brags to host Billy Bush about how he pursued a married woman, not realising his microphone was on.

In the three-minute long video, which was made public on Friday (7 October) by The Washington Post, Trump describes how he could kiss and even touch a woman's genitals if he wanted to. " I just kiss them. I don't ask," he says. "...Grab them by the p****. When you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything."

While he issued an apology video, in which he attempted to dismiss his offensive comments as "locker room banter", the footage has sparked outrage and prompted women to come forward with their own all-too real experiences of sexual violence and harassment.

Kelly Oxford, an author with nearly 700,000 Twitter followers slammed Trump and Billy Bush as she explained that their comments were indicative of a pervading "rape culture".

"Grab them by the p---y," Trump says. "You can do anything." And Billy Bush is like, OK! -This is rape culture", she tweeted.

Describing an incident when she was just 12 years old, in which an older man on a city bus grabbed her crotch as he smiled at her, she opened up the public discussion, inviting women to share their everyday experiences of sexual assault, with the hashtag #notokay.

The Canadian author was almost immediately deluged with accounts from women of their first-hand experiences of sexual assault and victimisation by men.

"I am currently receiving two sex assault stories per second. Anyone denying rape culture, please look at my timeline now," she said.

The stream of tweets from women, bravely speaking out about their own ordeals, revealed one horrific account of sexual violence after another.

"Been assaulted three times: raped by an ex boyfriend, attacked by a co-worker, and attacked by my boyfriend's "best friend", tweeted one woman.

"Soccer coach discretely groped my boobs while demonstrating how not to block someone in gym class," writer Kate Spencer tweeted. "I was 13."

"I was #grabbedbythep***** by a guy on a bike while walking down the street when I was 12," feminist activist Sarah Sophie Flicker wrote. "Was scared to wear skirts for a while."

"Guy in a bar tries to finger me while we are dancing," writer Jaya Saxena replied. "I push him away and he says I'm lucky he's nice or he'd hit me."

"13, groped & rubbed up against in protests in Cairo & not doing anything bc if there's a ruckus the cops might start shooting," said another.

"When I was 11 a 16 y/o boy threw me down on my bed, disrobed & climbed on top of me begging to let him 'put it in.' #notokay"

One woman wrote: "I refuse to be ashamed for all the times I (& every woman) have been groped, harassed, rubbed up on. Happens all the damn time. #thanksTrump"

As well as sparking a public outcry by women , many men tweeted their disgust at Trump's comments and their dismay at the reality of life for women today.

"As the dad of two little girls, this is the scariest thread you can ever read. #notokay" said one concerned father.

With the hashtag trending, Oxford shared her sense of shock at the litany of stories of the sexual abuse of women, and her pride, as one woman after another relinquished a sense of shame they may have carried for a lifetime, that was never theirs to begin with.

Echoing the voices of millions of women, she said: "Not our shame anymore."