The Reality of Sexual Assault : Stop Denouncing Survivors Who Tell Their Stories

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By Soren Rutherford, Knightly News Opinion Editor

From 1980 to 1989, there were a total of 11 political sex scandals across Ronald Reagan’s whole two-term presidency. In 2018 so far, there has been a whopping 60 sexual misconduct allegations. Senators, representatives, federal judges, assembly members, & even the President himself, all had or have allegations towards them.

The immense increase in scandals from Reagan’s two-term presidency to 2018 may seem like there are more political figures committing sexual assault or harassment more women, however, this may not be the case.

There’s a trending hashtag going around the internet specifically for women who didn’t report their sexual harassment because they were afraid of the circumstances, #WhyIDidntReport.

Perhaps, with every successful woman getting their justice, another woman is encouraged to tell her survival story with sexual assault. It’s almost like a snowball effect, the more women that do come out and tell their story, another group of women come out to share theirs.

The majority of women who deal with sexual harassment or get assaulted find it difficult to tell family members & friends. Some believe they’ll be get ridden of within their workplace if they told their bosses.

Victims of sexual assault talk about the trauma of not being heard or believed – a too-common occurrence, according to news trends like #whyididntreport.

According to the New York Times article “#WhyIDidntReport,” a university student, Ms. Leong, said this: “It can be traumatic to say something & not feel heard, not feel believed.”

In the same article, another woman said this about her assault experience: “I felt stupid. I felt vulnerable. I felt humiliated. I also felt if I said anything, my career would be over.”

People who say that women who claimed they have been sexually assaulted years ago should’ve came out with their stories right after they were assaulted are ignorant. The President of the United States even says this about the widely spread story about Brett Kavanaugh & Dr. Ford, “if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been filed immediately with local Law Enforcement by either her or her loving parents!”.

It’s incredibly ironic how Trump is trying to tell women how to go about their sexual assault situations even though, years ago, he claimed that if you’re a “star”, you can do “anything” to women.

Men in power who promote or act on their predatory behavior like Trump are exactly why women who have been in the case of sexual assault don’t come out with their stories.

We need to stop denouncing women who share their experiences with sexual assault for “not reporting to authorities when the assault happened”. Women should never feel afraid or threatened to release their stories about their assault.

Fortunately, things are getting better. More women are coming out & getting the justice they deserve. It may not seem like it with the amount of political figures committing sexual harassment, but we are heading in the right direction.