#WhyIDidntReport–A New Outlet for Sexual Assault Victims

Sexual Assault victims across the nation have taken to #WhyIDidntReport in light of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing.

Sexual Assault victims across the nation have taken to #WhyIDidntReport in light of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing.

Grace Faulhaber, Co-Editor-In-Chief

After the allegations against Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh were made and publicized in mid-September, the backlash against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford became the topic for discussion everywhere. As a result of the nationwide issue that has flooded the media lately, the #WhyIDidntReport started trending.

In October 2017 the #MeToo movement gained recognition after women and men around the country began to share their personal and vulnerable stories regarding sexual harassment. It became a platform for people to feel strong in their decisions to speak the truth. Now, sexual assault victims have a new motivation and outlet by which to share their stories.

Why exactly was there so much criticism against Ford when it came to her allegations? Many people, including President Donald Trump, were curious as to why she waited until Kavanaugh was the spotlight of the media to accuse him regarding something that happened when they were in high school. Donald Trump tweeted on September 21 concerning Ford’s agenda: “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.” Later that day he tweeted again: “The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW. Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?”

This is where the hashtag comes into play: during the court hearing, Ford expressed exactly why it was so difficult to come forward: “For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone these details…I convinced myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should just move on and just pretend that it didn’t happen.”

Once the controversy was apparent in Ford’s case, many women who have dealt with situations similar to that of Ford came forward. According to many tweets, women and men across the country took to this hashtag to not only support her but also explain how their trauma has held them back from speaking forward. Ashley Judd, an actress who participated in the #MeToo movement supported the cause as well: “WhyIDidntReport. The first time it happened, I was 7. I told the first adults I came upon. They said Oh, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant.”’The Brett Kavanaugh hearing has sparked emotions in victims who have dealt with life-altering experiences, and now social media platforms have become a way to speak up.