A spotlight has been pointed at Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. If you've been paying attention to the news, social media, or if you've even just been listening to your friends and family speak, you most likely know that Kavanaugh is Trump's nominee for a spot on the Supreme Court, and Ford, a professor of psychology, has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during their teenage years.
This has sparked a question that people have been asking for years; why don't women report their sexual assault? And if they do report it, why do they wait so long? The answer is simple. Victims of sexual assault don't report what happened because they are not believed. They are mocked, they are threatened, and for the rest of their lives, they will be under a microscope.
As for why women wait to report their assault, it isn't hard to figure out, especially in Ford's case. If the person who sexually assaulted me was about to be given a spot on the Supreme Court, that would be the exact moment that I would come forward. This was incredibly brave of Ford, considering that she and her family have been under constant threat since the moment she stepped forward. Her address and phone number were leaked, she received death threats, and she has had to relive her trauma in front of the entire world.
For people who are sexually assaulted by people who aren't nominated for a spot on the Supreme Court, the reasons are the same. How often do you hear about a student reporting sexual assault and nothing being done about it? All too often, the victim is forced to leave their school or workplace because people believe their attacker over them. These people lose their friends, and sometimes even their family.
On top of all of that, victims of sexual assault are no longer allowed to live. They are expected to walk around with their trauma every day, and believe me, they do. However, they should not be expected to live the rest of their lives in a state of misery.
"I want to ask Christine if she remembers partying at Trolls, drinking at He's Not Here. Hooking up with guys at Henderson Street. Eating at Time Out. Remember those days, Christine? Tell us about them." – Denise C. McAllister
McAllister's comment alludes that all victims should not only have to endure the trauma of sexual assault, but that they should have to live the rest of their lives in solitary, never having a good day, or a fun night. They should never be allowed to go to a bar and have a drink, never be allowed to form new relationships or move forward in their lives in any way.
If you're still questioning why victims don't come forward sooner, or if you're someone who believes that people accuse others of sexual assault "for fame", remind yourself of the death threats, ridicule, and the trauma that will be piled on to victims when they have to relive and recount their assault in front of a crowd. The President of the United States openly mocks victims of sexual assault, and yet they're supposed to feel comfortable coming forward? It doesn't work like that. Not one person has ever become rich and famous from accusing someone of sexual assault. Those who come forward are braver than I could ever imagine.