As Congress begins to investigate Dr. Christine Ford's allegations of Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, people on both sides of the aisle are chiming in. In fact, a campaign launched on Twitter after President Donald Trump inferred that Ford's allegations are coming out at a rather convenient time:
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
People were upset by Trump's words, which turned into the #WhyIDidntReport campaign, where sexual assault survivors explain the reason they didn't repeat their attackers.
Leftist groups and blue check mark Liberals quickly took over the hashtag, just as they did with the #MeToo campaign.
The Women's March were quick to place blame on President Trump and "men like him."
Various celebrities also explained why they never reported their assault:
Because I had never seen a survivor come forward and be treated with dignity, so why would I believe my case would be different? #WhyIDidntReport— Miss Michigan (@MissAmericaMI) September 21, 2018
Some celebrities also explained why they didn't report their multiple attackers:
I was 7 the first time I was sexually assaulted. He was a relative of my mom’s second husband. I told my folks and they sent me away. #WhyIDidntReport— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) September 21, 2018
The second time I was 16 years old and a virgin. He was my boyfriend. "Date rape" wasn't discussed in the 80's. I was horrified and ashamed. #WhyIDidntReport— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) September 21, 2018
The third time I was assaulted I was 23. I thought that no one would believe me, because no one wanted to stand up to him. I had seen the way Anita Hill was treated when she came forward. #WhyIDidntReport— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) September 21, 2018
I waited over 20 years to report my sexual abuser.— Thomas Roberts (@ThomasARoberts) September 21, 2018
Because I was 14.
Because it was my hero.
Because it was my priest.
Because I thought I'd be expelled.
Because I feared no one would believe me.
Because I thought suicide was easier than telling 1 person#WhyIDidntReport
Various Congressional candidates also felt it was important to share their reasoning;
I did report, but it was dismissed by the police. I know what it is like. I understand the shame and humiliation and why people don’t report. Women deserve to be treated with the dignity that is due to every human being. #WhyIDidntReport— Janet Garrett (@Janet4OH) September 21, 2018
I have experienced sexual assault multiple times and in different ways – I never reported and I know how hard it is for somebody to come forward. I also know that many women are in the same place.— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) September 21, 2018
It is not your fault. You deserve to be heard. We believe you. #WhyIDidntReport pic.twitter.com/We5V7LCNhp
Because I was 8 and someone came up behind me in a swimming pool and stuck their fingers inside of me. I never saw a face. I had no idea what to say. #WhyIDidntReport— Shireen for Congress (@ShireenGhorbani) September 21, 2018
Many stories and reasonings sounded very similar:
The fear of being blamed was one common theme.
I was 19. He was a friend at a date party. I blacked out on the bus home. Came to in bed. He was sobbing over what he’d done. I consoled him tho I was too injured to walk. Our friends blamed me. I flew home from college. 18 yrs later I’m still ashamed. #WhyIDidntReport— Emily Ramshaw (@eramshaw) September 21, 2018
I was only 15 and scared nobody would believe me. Or worse,would blame me.— Maureen Shaw ???? (@MaureenShaw) September 21, 2018
I was scared he would do it again if I told anyone.
It was (and still is) humiliating to recount such profoundly sexual, violent details.
I didn't want to break my parents' hearts.#WhyIDidntReport
Some were afraid.
#WhyIDidntReport I was raped at 7.Rapist said Hell's Angels would kill my family if I told. Sexually assaulted by my professor, 19; thought I would be raped again. Waited 20 yrs then told Yale, NYMag. Yale later killed a job offer. I tried to file grievance re all.Yale sent cops.— Dr Naomi Wolf (@naomirwolf) September 21, 2018
And others felt like it was their fault.
#WhyIDidntReport Because I was embarrassed I “let” it happen to me.— Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa) September 21, 2018
Then there were those who were never victims but felt the need to voice their concern and disbelief.
Trump says that if the attack on Christine "was as bad as she says" she would have told her parents & authorities would have investigated. But #WhyIDidntReport shows what happened to victims spoke up.— Karen DaltonBeninato (@kbeninato) September 21, 2018
For the president to sink any lower, it would have to involve plate tectonics.
How is it possible that people are still surprised by what women are sharing here? If you are appalled, surprised, or doubtful ask yourself why it’s so important to hide from the truth of women’s lives and the knowledge it brings about our society #WhyIDidntReport— Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly) September 21, 2018
#WhyIDidntReport heartbreaking— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) September 21, 2018
I've heard this 100s of times
1??who would believe me? - I did
2??I blame myself - it's never your fault
3??Auths wont take it seriously - I did & they will
4??Rapist is powerful - Truth is stronger
Don't suffer in silence
The General Takeaway
Sexual assault is not something that only happens to women. Sexual assault is not something that only happens to Democrats. Sexual assault is something that happens every single day in every country around the world. It's a sad reality but it's something that the average American — and in particular, young women — have come to accept as "the norm."
When I was in college I was "date raped. It was the most painful and confusing time of my life. Here I was, on my own for the first time, trying to make sense of the world as an adult and I had my innocence taken from me. I was confused about what happened. I thought I somehow allowed my attack to happen despite the fight I put up. I was ashamed to talk about what happened. It was embarrassing. If I reported what happened it meant I had to accept that I was a victim — and I never wanted to think of myself that way.
Going through the legal process of reporting was difficult. I was berated, questioned over and over. I had to repeat my story multiple times, to multiple people and then write it in detail. I had to go through various STD testing and examinations. I had my dorm room searched. I felt like I was the one who committed a crime, not the other way around.
It's important to make victims feel like they're heard and that justice is being served. What President Trump said is NOT condoning sexual assault. What he's bringing up is one thought that can't be pushed away: was Dr. Ford really assaulted or is she trying to derail Kavanaugh's confirmation simply because she doesn't like him or disagrees with him politically? Is Dr. Ford being opportunistic? If not, why didn't she bring this up before, at any other point in time? Asking those questions does NOT mean Trump is making excuses for Kavanaugh or any accused rapist. It means he's pointing out the obvious question and is wanting Congress to dread lightly.