I am sick of hearing people ask “but why didn’t she report it?”
There are a million reasons why someone who has been through trauma, any type of trauma, won’t want to talk about it, and there are a million more reasons why someone who has been sexual assaulted would rather keep their mouth shut. It’s easy to judge others. It’s easy to say that you would have done things differently if you were in a similar situation and it may even be true, but either way it’s doesn’t matter.
WHY they didn’t report should not be what we focus on, HOW we encourage victims to come forward is.
Telling victims that we believe them is the first step to abolish the ‘victim blaming’ culture we live in and finally put the responsibility where it lies – on the attackers, and the rapists and the bosses who think their secretaries need to suck their dicks.
But for those who are still struggling to understand WHY, I suggest you checkout the hashtag WhyIDidntReport on Twitter to find out directly from those who chose to keep their silence:
I was told to keep my mouth shut.
I was told I didn’t know what I was talking about.
My friends didn’t believe me.
He was my father’s friend. I was 9.
I couldn’t be the cause of my family being torn apart. I was 13.
He was a friend of my brothers.
My dad would have killed him.
I didn’t want to break my father’s heart.
I was ashamed.
I didn’t want to lose my job.
I din’t want to get into trouble.
I didn’t want to ruin his live. He had kids and a wife, it wasn’t their fault.
I thought maybe I deserved it.
I was terrified.
He said he would kill me.
He beat me to a pulp in broad daylight. Nobody helped. I was 17.
I knew people would question my clothes and I couldn’t bear that.
I thought it was my fault.
Because I had been drinking.
Because he was the nephew of my father’s girlfriend. I was 7.
Because he was my boss.
He told me no one would ever believe me.
I was afraid it would ruin my professional reputation before I had even started.
I didn’t want my parents to ever find out something horrible happened to me.
Because I agreed to have one drink with him. He was supposed to take me to my car, but instead he raped me. I knew nobody would believe me.
I was four, and he said he’d kill me.
Because I didn’t want to admit what happened, even to myself.
Because he was a celebrity and had money and I was a nobody.
I did, it didn’t matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still got blamed.