#WhyIDidntReport Hashtag Goes Viral Showcasing the Harsh, Heartbreaking Reality of #MeToo by Jessica Acree
One look at the viral #WhyIDidntReport hashtag on Twitter sends you spiraling through a range of intense emotions: heartbreak, anger, disgust and shock evolving into feelings of encouragement, support, love and solidarity. The scope of the #MeToo movement is once again dominating headlines because a woman by the name of Christine Blasey Ford finally felt brave enough to speak up. She's the reason a confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has hit a snag.
President Trump tweeted an assumption about the credibility of her story that the internet was all too quick to help dispel. It read in part, "... if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents."
I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
Nice try, but it's not that simple. It's never that simple.
Why? Fear. Victim blaming. Lack of support. Shame. Intimidation. The list goes on.
You are not alone. According to RAINN, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
Only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.
Victims are ready to speak up. Victims are ready to fight. But that doesn't mean it will be easy. In fact, because of the current rape culture, silence is far easier than reliving the horrors to demand justice, especially when precedent proves that noble quest remains far-fetched and unforgiving.
Reminder: Every single person posting #WhyIDidntReport is reliving their trauma to try and teach folks to extend long overdue empathy and protection. The folks posting are only a drop in the bucket – so many people aren't (and may never be) ready to relive that trauma.
— Kirsten King (@KirstenKing_) September 21, 2018
We see you. We hear you. WE BELIEVE YOU.
Though the road to true change is complicated, the goal is simple. "We want perpetrators to be held accountable and we want strategies implemented to sustain long term, systemic change," says a hopeful Tarana Burke, the original founder of the #MeToo movement.
Will you stand up? speak out? support others? be the change?
The time is now.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is free, confidential and 24/7: 1-800-656-HOPE
Because the first time it happened, I was in 1st grade and didn’t know how wrong it was. Because it happened so often over the years that followed that I thought it was the norm. Because the culture told me it was the norm. Forgive, forget, move on. Not anymore. #WhyIDidntReport
— Catherine Connors (@herbadmother) September 21, 2018
Because I was scared
Because I was ashamed
Because I did not want to lose my job
Because I am traumatized
Because nobody will believe me
Because it wasn’t a big deal
Because I deserved it
Because I get anxiety
Because somebody may harm me again
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) September 21, 2018
Because I had never seen a survivor come forward and be treated with dignity, so why would I believe my case would be different? #WhyIDidntReport
— Miss Michigan (@MissAmericaMI) September 21, 2018
To everyone posting experiences, and those still keeping their secret:
It was not your fault.
You did nothing wrong.
You have nothing to be ashamed of.
You did NOT deserve what happened to you.
— Sam Winchester (@SamSoGetThis) September 21, 2018
What do YOU think?