Survivors of sexual assault took to social media in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet, which questioned the actions of victims of sexual assault, on Sept. 21, 2018. In doing so, this created #WhyIDidntReport.
Approximately 7 out of 10 victims do not report their assault, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Additionally, it is common for victims of sexual assault to wait years to report their assault.
President Donald Trump’s tweet was in response to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward to report Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is now confirmed to the supreme court as of Oct. 6, 2018, for sexually assaulting her when she was a minor.
Immediately following President Donald Trump’s tweet, sexual assault survivors of various backgrounds began to reveal personal accounts of reasoning for not reporting their assault.
College students and adults in the workplace are beginning to speak out on social media platform as a result of #WhyIDidntReport.
Mackenzie Harris, an alumna of Cabrini University, posted her #WhyIDidntReport account on Sept. 23, 2018, to her social media.
“#whyIdidntreport Because…I was involved in college and I didn’t want to be misrepresented and mislabeled. Because…I thought it was my fault. Because…I didn’t want it to define me and rather it made me resent things I used to love. It took me 6 years to say anything,” Harris said.
According to Business Insider, shame, guilt, embarrassment, denial and disgust flood the minds of victims of sexual assault. These are followed by a sense of fear. Fear of losing a job, losing friends, losing colleagues, losing privacy and even losing safety in their life. This is what keeps survivors from reporting their attackers and the attack.
Abbey Joiner attended Savannah College of Art and Design, where she majored in illustration and graphic design.
“I don’t owe anyone my #whyIdidntreport story because I’m still trying to pretend it didn’t happen but that doesn’t make it any less valid or any less ok,” Joiner said.
According to the New York Times, women will pay for the mess of the Kavanaugh Confirmation. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford received death threats and was forced to leave her family home after she testified regarding her account of the sexual assault. Additionally, she moved her sons in with friends so they could continue their education.
After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified, President Donald Trump mocked her testimony while at a rally in Mississippi, which resulted in uproarious laughter and applause from the crowd.
Ben Struble is a recent marketing graduate from Eastern University. Struble says he believes Blasey Ford’s testimony, but he says it is a lose-lose situation for the country.
“Say he’s innocent-if he is, then these women who are speaking out against him probably, for their own agenda, are ruining a good man’s life and future and career… Say he’s guilty-then we’re allowing a man who doesn’t respect women who are actually assuring and abusing women, to make some of the biggest decisions that this country has to make,” Struble said. “It’s a lose-lose situation.”