As anyone who’s glanced at the Internet over the past 24 hours knows, sexual assault claims have recently been made against Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Many people (including Trump himself) are questioning the timing of these claims: insisting that the assaults would have been reported sooner had they occurred.
None of us can say for sure whether or not the allegations against Trump are true – but here’s what we can all be 100% sure of – an alarming number of sexual assaults go unreported. And a slew of fearless women are taking to Twitter tonight to explain exactly why.
1. Because they’re often not believed.
2. Because it’s not always safe to report.
3. Because the definition of rape is grossly misunderstood.
4. Because the victim is almost always blamed.
5. Because public reactions add insult to injury.
6. Because it causes you to relive the experience over and over and over.
7. Because we aren’t seeing justice getting served.
8. Because it prolongs an already painful experience.
9. Because they’ll call your sexuality into question.
10. Because the media will skew things however they see fit.
11. Because reporting can rip away resources.
12. Because the ‘perfect victim’ mentality is still alive and thriving.
13. Because our minds play tricks on us to keep it together.
14. Because it happens to children who have no idea what to do.
15. Because it’s too close to home.
16. Because it’s not always understood.
17. Because we go into survival mode.
18. Because it’s seen as bringing shame onto the family.
19. Because it seems easier to get through it alone.
20. Because the situation seems hopeless.
2016 is a scary time to be a woman (or an assault victim of any gender identity). But if there’s anything today has taught us, it is this: Rape culture is strong. But survivors are stronger. And the era of silence surrounding sexual assault cases is ready to come to an end.