We Will Not Be Silenced
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Dear GOP Leaders, You Can't Shame Us Into Silence

How the #WhyIDidntReport movement is bringing new light to a situation we're tired of explaining.

Teagan Thompson

As of Wednesday, Sept 26 three women have come forward about being sexually assaulted by Supreme Court Judge Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was the first women to step forward, claiming Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school gathering. Following her allegations, many GOP leaders, including President Trump himself, criticized Dr. Ford for not taking action immediately after the assault occurred.

Following these statements, the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport swarmed social media with survivors sharing their stories of why they didn't report their rapes and assaults. The thousands of stories from men and women vary, including survivors that are now in their 70's speaking out about childhood assaults for the first time. There are, in fact, many reasons why a survivor will not report their assault until years later. They feel as if they won't be believed because of the social or economic position their rapist is in. They feel as if it's their fault. Some of them don't even feel anything until years later because they've shut out the memories that were too hard to hold onto. Other's don't even know what happened to them is something that they can report. Not to mention, the process of reporting a rape or sexual assault "correctly" can be unbelievably painful both mentally and physically. Pictures, reliving your story over and over, swabs, poking. All of that with no guarantee that it will be worth it and your rapist is held accountable for what they did. You have to beg for rape kits to be ran, for DAs to take your case, and for the jury to believe you.

Yes, she could be lying, she could be a pawn in the political world, but we won't know any of that until it is properly investigated, and we can't get it to be properly investigated with bias opinions such as "she should've came forward sooner."

If she had, would it really have made a difference? Even now, Mr. Kavanaugh is being treated like the seventeen-year-old boy he was back then.

"Boys will be boys." "We all make mistakes when we're young and hormonal."

Things that have also been practiced in the world today when it comes to sentencing and charging young men for sexual assault and rape (cue Brock Turner). Until we change our ways of letting these monsters get away with a slap on the wrist you cannot blame anyone for not coming forward right away. This has happened again, and again and us survivors are tired of being punished more for reporting a crime late, than the one who committed the crime.

If everyone is innocent until proven guilty, investigate these cases without any ignorant biases towards the victim and investigate. They are innocent until proven guilty as well. Do the rape kits, take the cases, don't ignore the evidence that is there, don't use outdated information, and actually give those found guilty punishments.

Why don't they report? Ask yourself, would you if the chances of that monster walking free are too high?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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