Women on Twitter are sharing powerful #WhyIDidntReport stories about their sexual assaults
Last week, Donald Trump took to his favourite social media platform - Twitter - to share his thoughts on the sexual assault allegations surrounding the current SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who claims that the judge held her down on a bed, groped her and held his hand over her mouth when she attempted to scream at a house party, while they were both in high school during the early 1980's.
Ford, who later elaborated on her claims to the Washington Post, didn't tell anyone about the incident until 2012, when she spoke about it to a therapist while she and her husband were in couple's counselling. The psychologist's notes from the session corroborate her account.
This summer, when it appeared that Kavanaugh was on the short-list for the SCOTUS nomination, the professor, who teaches at Palo Alto University in California, reached out to Sen. Dianne Feinstein about the alleged incident. The letter was eventually sent to the FBI.
In response to all of this, Trump asserted that if the attack was really so bad, Ford would have reported it earlier. "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents," he wrote on Twitter. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
This naturally incited an intense backlash, with women and men sharing their tales on Twitter with the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag to explain the myriad of reasons why victims don't go to the police.
Here are just a few of them.
1. "It took me 30 years to tell [my] parents"
2. "I did, it didn’t matter"
3. "Because I was too young to know it was wrong yet"
4. "He said he'd kill me"
5. "Because I wasn’t ready to confront it. I’m still not"
6. "He didn’t actually rape me so I thought 'nothing' happened"
7. "Too young to know it was even a crime"
8. "I did report it. Police asked if I was drunk"
9. "It took me 30 years to even know and admit it happened"
10. "Our culture treats people perceived as weak enough to be attacked as worse than their attackers"
11. "The email I sent in Feb. 2011, and the response I received last month"
A second woman has since come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault. The New Yorker reported on Sunday evening that 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez, who attended university with Kavanaugh, claimed that the judge thrust his genitals into her face at a party during their 1983-4 freshman year.