Shame, fear: survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults
|Toronto Star 22 Sep 2018 at 10:46|
There are myriad reasons why survivors of sexual assault wait years to come forward ‚ÄĒ if at all. Indeed, about 7 out of 10 people who experience sexual assault never report it, according to Justice Department statistics.
So survivors responded with fury Friday to U.S. President Donald Trump ‚Äôs remarks challenging the veracity of Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The president said she would surely have reported the assault to police ‚Äúimmediately‚ÄĚ if the attack was ‚Äúas bad as she says.‚ÄĚ
On Twitter, the hashtag ‚ÄúWhyIDidn‚ÄôtReport‚ÄĚ was trending, with survivors coming forward with their own reasons.
‚ÄúBecause he was a member of our family,‚ÄĚ one user wrote. ‚ÄúBecause he threatened to kill me,‚ÄĚ wrote another. ‚ÄúHe was supposed to be my friend, but he beat me when I said no,‚ÄĚ wrote yet another.
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One of the most searing came from Ashley Judd, the actress who was an early Harvey Weinstein accuser.
‚ÄúThe first time it happened, I was 7,‚ÄĚ she wrote. ‚ÄúI told the first adults I came upon. They said, ‚ÄėOh, he‚Äôs a nice old man, that‚Äôs not what he meant.‚Äô So when I was raped at 15, I only told my diary. When an adult read it, she accused me of having sex with an adult man.‚ÄĚ
And actress Alyssa Milano, whose tweet last year launched the #MeToo hashtag, wrote that she had been assaulted twice, once as a teenager, yet ‚ÄúI never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell my parents.‚ÄĚ