Hannah is a first year student in the Women’s History Graduate Program at Sarah Lawrence College.
The last several weeks have been a stressful time for survivors of sexual violence. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault by Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh have dominated the news cycle and forced numerous victims of assault to relive difficult and traumatizing memories. One of the most common damnations of assault victims, including Dr. Ford, is that many non-victims do not understand why someone would choose not to report. The assumption that if someone does not report their assault immediately makes the assault less valid or less believable than someone who reports immediately is infuriating and demeaning.
An archive’s worth of posts could be written on this topic, but for this week, we have chosen to highlight the voices of the thousands of survivors who expressed their outrage on twitter with the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport. Below are the voices of women and men who are fed up, hurt, tired, and motivated. Their reasons are heartbreaking, but as a collective voice they are empowering, strong, and inspirational.
I shared my
#WhyIDidntReport story on Facebook and a dude messaged me to tell me I needed to stop trying to ruin mens lives so that’s how today is going
#WhyIDidntReport because even making this post, I am scared of what will happen.
Emily H Stooksberry
#WhyIDidntReport being assaulted in HS, oh wait I did. I told the school counselor. She wrote me up for “public display of affection” and gave me detention. I was so shamed I took corporal punishment instead so my parents wouldn’t find out. At least he didn’t rape me.
At 6, I was six.
At 17, he was a “friend” and I didn’t want to “ruin his life.”
At 19, I was drunk.
At 23, I was ashamed it had happened again.
Emma Anne Moody
He was a leader of a religious organization I was a part of
#WhyIDidntReport-l’m 70. The attempted rape was in HS. I had no proof. I talked my way out of the assault by agreeing to walk out of BR with his arm around me – so his friends thought he scored. Like Ford, It’s still a very clear memory of only the encounter.
#WhyIDidntReport because I was a stripper and it happened while working, I figured people would assume I brought it upon myself or think I deserved what happened because of what I did for a living and where it happened.
To those who aren’t posting your reasons for
#whyididntreport, who couldn’t watch his testimony, who are quietly processing & coping
Your story is also valid you are also strong and it’s no one else’s fucking business
#WhyIDidntReport because I didn’t want to think it actually happened to me. I begged myself to get over it. I couldn’t and I’ll never get over it.
#whyididntreport is nobody’s fucking business! Sexual assault victims shouldn’t have to justify their actions in order to make them valid.
We aren’t lying. We are strong. And we are a force to be reconned with.