On September 21, President Donald Trump tweeted that if Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had been assaulted by Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh as she said she was 36 years ago, she would have reported the incident to the police. Actor Alyssa Milano responded with a tweet to the president, putting into words what many are too enraged to vocalize. Starting the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, Milano has inspired thousands of men and women to share their stories of assault on social media.
In Milano’s initial tweet, she reveals that she was assaulted twice, with one of the incidents taking place during her teen years. Saying she never told the police and took 30 years to tell her parents, Milano’s tweet started the latest iteration of the #MeToo movement.
Hey, @realDonaldTrump, Listen the fuck up.
I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell me parents.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 21, 2018
The actor expanded on her story by penning an Op Ed for Vox on Sunday, citing gut-wrenching statistics on sexual assault, noting that one in four girls and one in six boys will be assaulted before turning 18. Explaining the agony caused by talking about her own assault, Milano wrote, “For me, speaking up meant reliving one of the worst moments of my life. It meant recognizing my attacker’s existence when I wanted nothing more than to forget that he was allowed to walk on this earth at all. This is what every survivor goes through. Telling our stories means being vulnerable to public attacks and ridicule when our only “crime” was to be assaulted in the first place.”
Calling on other survivors to share their stories in an effort to dispel the notion that not reporting an assault means that it didn’t happen, Milano has helped open the floodgates for those who have been living in silence with their assault or were discredited when they did try to report their attacker.
Many of Milano’s fellow celebs have come forward with their own heartbreaking stories, including actors Tatum O’Neal, Daryl Hannah, and Lili Reinhart, musician Neko Case, and chef Padma Lakshmi.
— Tatum O’neal (@Tatum_Oneal) September 24, 2018
#WhyDidntIReport ? There’s not enough space on the internet to even explain to you the complication, or the disruption.
— Neko Case (@NekoCase) September 22, 2018
I did, it didn’t matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still get blamed #WhyIDidntReport
— Daryl Hannah (@dhlovelife) September 21, 2018
Because I didn’t want to lose my job or make people think I was a drama queen. #WhyIDidntReport
— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) September 21, 2018
The second time I was 16 years old and a virgin. He was my boyfriend. “Date rape” wasn’t discussed in the 80’s. I was horrified and ashamed. #WhyIDidntReport
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) September 21, 2018
Actor and activist Ashley Judd, who was one of the first women to come forward with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, also shared her own #WhyIDidntReport tweet.
#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.” So when I was raped at 15, I only told my diary. When an adult read it, she accused me of having sex with an adult man.
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) September 21, 2018
In support of Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramierez, the second woman who has gone public with allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, the Time’s Up organization has called for a National Walkout and Moment of Solidarity on Monday, September 24.
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Dr. Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University in California, is currently scheduled to testify against Judge Kavanaugh before the U.S. Senate on Thursday. Ford is accusing Kavanaugh of what she describes as attempted rape in 1982 when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17 years old.
We’ll just leave this here.
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