The Real Reason Women Don't Report Rapes

Heidi Harris
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Posted: Nov 26, 2014 12:01 AM
The Real Reason Women Don't Report Rapes

Every day there’s another story about women who have been raped, or claim to have been raped, by famous and not so famous people. Most men are dumfounded by the women who have kept silent. ”If she was really RAPED, why didn’t she go to the police and report it THEN?”

Great question. Let me see if I can help.

Men are “action figures” for the most part. They don’t want to talk about things, they want to take action. So for a man, the logic is simple: “If you’ve been victimized, why not get justice? Call the cops! Let ME beat him up! My roommate stole my stereo, and I DID something about it!”

Sexual assault is completely different. If you report your car stolen, you might get your car back. You will never get back what a rapist took. Women understand the legal process involved in prosecuting a sexual assault case will usually only serve to make the nightmare worse.

There is an assumption that rape is a violent act, committed by some stranger who grabs you off the street and beats you up, leaving unmistakable evidence. According to the Department of Justice, 2/3 of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Many of the perpetrators are co-workers, friends, or dates.

In addition, what feminists and even some rape counselors don’t like to acknowledge is that most sexual assaults occur when women have put themselves into a situation that is hard to wriggle out of. You’re in the back seat of the car, at your apartment, you’re making out, he wants to ‘keep going’, he’s stronger than you are...and there you have it.

A very common scenario of he said/she said rape. And that doesn’t even take into account the date rape drugs that are readily available and render women completely helpless.

What are you going to do, call the police? He hasn’t bruised you. What evidence do you have that he forced you? Too often, there isn’t any. If you just got tired of fighting him off and “let it happen”, now what? If you assume a woman will fight back like an alley cat when the man is known to her, think again.

What if you’re parked in the middle of nowhere, you fight him off, and he tosses you out of the car without your phone? What THEN? Years ago there WERE no cell phones. Being dumped in the middle of nowhere is even less safe.

Even if you DO report it, you know what you’re facing. Cops, friends, associates will ask a lot of questions. What were you doing in the back seat....drinking underage at the party....going home with a stranger? You took a pill just because some guy gave it to you....?

No matter what HE did, you were foolish for putting yourself in a vulnerable position and you know it, which is one reason many women don’t come forward. That’s the first thing a defense attorney will focus on.

If you are victimized by a famous person, the stakes get even higher. “What did you think was going to happen when you went backstage or to his house?”

“Oh come on, you were just setting him up so you could get some money or fame!”

I recently interviewed a woman who was sexually assaulted on a team bus by one of her dad’s college basketball players while everyone else was sleeping. She was 13. Her dad was on the bus! Why didn’t she scream? That would have made so much sense!

She didn’t speak because she believed, correctly, that the entire team would have been adversely affected and her father’s career destroyed. She would have been blamed for the fallout, instead of getting any kind of justice. Rather than ‘stir up trouble’ she decided to be a good girl and keep silent.

That’s what her attacker was counting on.

How many times have we seen an entire community turn against the victim when accusations are made against a team, school, or organization? Even when there’s photographic proof? Just shut up honey, and don’t make the team/town/school look bad. After all, we could lose donors! You could ruin that boy’s life!

Even at 13, the victim on the bus was keenly aware of those possibilities, so she kept silent, was unable to get any counseling or justice, felt tainted, and her life spiraled out of control for many years.

There was a kid in my high school in Las Vegas who was notorious for forcing himself on girls he assumed to be virgins. He came from a wealthy family, and to my knowledge, he was never prosecuted, but I know of several girls he victimized. No one went to the police, or even their parents. How could they say anything? Who’d believe that a rich, good looking kid had to force himself on anyone? Everyone wanted to date him, for heaven’s sake!

In the case of false accusations, let me be VERY clear. I believe that any woman who makes false accusations against a man, famous or not, should be JAILED if it can be proven she lied. Tawana Brawley and Crystal Mangum should have been imprisoned for the lies they told and the chaos they caused innocent people. Surprise, surprise, years after the Duke Lacrosse case, Mangum is currently in prison for killing her boyfriend.

Do I believe Bill Cosby is guilty? Yes. For one simple reason. He has never issued a blanket denial. All he would have to say is that he has NEVER drugged and/or raped a woman. Please don’t tell me that he has to keep quiet for legal reasons. I’m not an attorney, but I doubt a blanket denial would hinder any specific case. If I were falsely accused of something that serious, I would deny it to my dying breath, and not hide behind lawyers.

Many are asking why Cosby’s accusers didn’t come out until now. Because you don’t accuse “America’s Dad” of rape, and because the attacks occurred in his home, dressing room, etc. The women speaking out are emboldened because they now realize they weren’t the only ones, and are angered by the eerily familiar circumstances others are describing.

I remember reading years ago that Bill Cosby never allowed his kids to hold a driver’s license or drive a car while they lived in his home. He was concerned that they would be falsely accused, or purposely targeted in traffic by someone seeking to sue a Cosby kid and grab a fast settlement check. You’d think that same caution would apply to Cosby himself, but he was alone with countless women, who could have accused him of anything, and some of them were given settlements. I guess those payoffs were worth it.