First, let's go over why this hashtag exists.
America's president, the person who is supposed to be protecting the citizens of the US, has nominated a person for the Supreme Court, the overruling governing facility that makes up the rules, who has been accused of attempted rape. If this man were to be a part of the supreme court, he will be on it for the remainder of his life.
He will be setting rules for women for the remainder of his life.
How is someone who is supposed to be the one to decide the highest of crimes, be accused of one himself? How could he possibly judge others when he was never judged himself?
Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of raping a woman in high school. He never got punished for that. The woman did not report it, which is understandable. It is a hard thing to prove and a hard thing to get the authorities to look at seriously, especially 30 years ago.
Donald Trump has also put that woman's name out on Twitter when it was not released beforehand.
"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. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
How can someone be so ignorant to call out the person who reported it? Mind you, she did not want her name out there. She had not come out publicly on her own.
Many people have seen this tweet and wanted Donald Trump to understand that he is wrong. These tweets include support to survivors, but most of them were survivors explaining why that didn't report in less than 140 characters. Tweets state that sometimes the survivor doesn't know what even happened.
They blame themselves, for what they were wearing, not making "no" clear enough, freezing instead of fighting and so on. Many of these include the way society looks upon sexual assault, how victim-blaming is very common, and how rape wasn't believed by the people they trusted most (and still isn't). They got asked about their clothing, if they were drunk, and some if they "wanted it."
The fact that they were scared, threatened even. The fact of their age, some just children. The fact that they were powerless compared to their rapist, they were younger, less known. Or the man was a straight a student, captain of the football team, and no one would believe this girl.
No one believed them or thought that anyone would believe them. Some of these people were close to their rapist; siblings, friends, husband and wife, step-parents, biological parents, and some pastors/teachers/a person who was looked up to.
I wrote my own:
#WhyIDidntReport He was my best friend, my supervisor. I didn't want to ruin him. We were drunk, I froze instead of running away. I didn't call it rape until weeks later. I was afraid my boyfriend was going to break up with me. When I reported it, I was told it was too late, 3 months later. A friend said, "I'd never put myself in that situation." A friend there said, "He feels really bad about it, it was a misunderstanding." A lawyer asked, "It was 3 months ago, why are you bringing it up so late?" A detective told me, "You both were too drunk to proceed with charges."
How is someone supposed to report something so traumatic when sometimes they don't understand it themselves? How is someone supposed to report sexual assault when it seems like everyone else is against them? How? Why would you? It would be constantly bringing up the traumatic experience, over and over again. Who would want that? When the stigma is always, it is the victim's fault, what they were wearing, if they "asked for it."
By the way, NO ONE EVER ASKS TO BE RAPED. Trust me on this one. I know from personal experience.
Want to know what I asked for? I asked for my "friend" to give me my phone back, and instead, I had a 250 lbs man coming at me, kissing me, holding me so tight I couldn't move. It is scary to even put a name to what happened. It took me 2 weeks to call it rape, I kept saying "I had sex with someone I didn't want to have sex with." I only called it rape because I was so depressed that I went to a therapist and they told me that is called rape. I knew what it was called but I didn't want to be another statistic.
"Another 1 in 5 college women."
I like statistics, let me share some more: Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. Of the sexual violence crimes not reported to police from 2005-2010, the victim gave the following reasons for not reporting:
- 20% feared retaliation
- 13% believed the police would not do anything to help
- 13% believed it was a personal matter
- 8% reported to a different official
- 8% believed it was not important enough to report
- 7% did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble
- 2% believed the police could not do anything to help
- 30% gave another reason, or did not cite one reason
Less than 8% of men commit 90% of sexual assault.
The percentage of false reports: between 2% and 8%
The percentage of rapes reported to the police in the US that leads to an arrest: 26%
The percentage of rapes that are reported to the police in the US that is prosecuted: 20%
Now, think of all of those statistics and think about the woman who Brett Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted in high school. Now think about why she wouldn't report it, but wants to now. To those who don't believe her, look at the statistics on false accusations.