Sexual assault survivors share heart-wrenching stories of why they didn't report their abuse
Social media users responded over the weekend to President Trump's tweeted claim that if Christine Ford's alleged assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were "as bad as she says," she'd have reported it immediately. Using the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, launched by actress Alyssa Milano, survivors explained why they kept silent after suffering sexual abuse: #WhyIDidntReport. The first time it happened, I was 7. I told the first adults I came upon. They said “Oh, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant.” So when I was raped at 15, I only told my diary. When an adult read it, she accused me of having sex with an adult man. — ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) September 21, 2018 I was 17. Raped by a friend. I was confused. In denial. Afraid. His parents were richer & better connected than my parents. He was a "good" student. Ppl liked him. The only friend I told--responded w: "He wld never do that." I didn't think anyone would help me. #WhyIDidntReport https://t.co/YbCuIMg07M — Abigail Hauslohner (@ahauslohner) September 21, 2018 I was 9 years old. A man took me away from everyone else at a birthday party and stuck his hand down my pants. He asked me if I liked it. I thought I had done something wrong. #WhyIDidntReport — Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) September 22, 2018 I did, it didn’t matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still get blamed #WhyIDidntReport — Daryl Hannah (@dhlovelife) September 21, 2018 It is particularly difficult for sexual assault victims to report misconduct by those in positions of power, Laura Palumbo of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center told USA Today. And the assault is "not just something that affects their life in the short-term," Palumbo said. "It also affects their life in the long-term."