When #MeToo started trending, thousands of sexual misconduct survivors came forward with their experiences.
Now, as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is being accused of an attempted rape in his high school days, advocates are explaining why they, like accuser Christine Blasey Ford, did not immediately share their stories.
The inspiration? A tweet from Donald Trump that claims Blasey Ford would have made a report right away if she were really assaulted.
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
Here are some of the most important reasons that many – men and women alike – believe Blasey Ford's accusation is credible and that waiting to come forward is understandable.
I was four, and he said he’d kill me. #WhyIDidntReport
— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) September 21, 2018
#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
#WhyIDidntReport He was supposed to be my friend, but he beat me when I said no. This is the first time I've talked about it in public.
— Jen Steer (@jensteer) September 21, 2018
I was 17. Raped by a friend. I was confused. In denial. Afraid. His parents were richer & better connected than my parents. He was a "good" student. Ppl liked him. The only friend I told--responded w: "He wld never do that." I didn't think anyone would help me. #WhyIDidntReport https://t.co/YbCuIMg07M
— Abigail Hauslohner (@ahauslohner) September 21, 2018
I was told Texas’ statute of limitations had passed, and I had no criminal legal recourse.#WhyIDidntReport
— Charlotte Clyme (@cmclymer) 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 there were no avenues for holding him accountable that didn’t involve the police.
Because I told myself it wasn’t “bad enough.”
Because it was gutting to admit — even to myself — that I was assaulted.
— Sophie Ellman-Golan (@EgSophie) September 21, 2018
#WhyIDidntReport my sexual assault.
I was living in a time when someone who identified as a gay teenager would NOT be taken seriously by the police.
I believed that I would be mocked & ridiculed for being gay.
I also felt it was MY fault.
I didn't think they would believe me.
— Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) September 21, 2018
There were 5 other rich, white boys in my boyfriend's college frat room.
I was poor white trash on a scholarship.
I was drunk and drugged and passed around like a fucking bong.
Like a game of hot potato.
I thought he loved me.
I was embarrassed and scared.#WhyIDidntReport https://t.co/CtJekvDFD9
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 21, 2018
I was 7 yrs old. Mom died that yr in an auto accident. My aunt's 18 yr old son raped me and forced oral sex. My dad & his sister went to their graves not knowing. Didn't want to break her heart and feared dad would have a heart attack & die leaving me an orphan.
— Portia A. Boulger (@PortiaABoulger) September 21, 2018
Still, there are many who are not ready to come forward, but that makes their stories of abuse no less valid.
I’m not ready to share but I’m very proud of everyone who has found the strength to speak up. #WhyIDidntReport
— Blair Imani (@BlairImani) September 21, 2018
There are so many women who are not participating in the #WhyIDidntReport tag because they can’t. For many reasons.
— Gretchen Scott (@gretchen_scott) September 21, 2018
I don't want to mansplain my way into #WhyIDidntReport, but I've never told anyone about what a proverbial "family friend" did to me when I was a kid. I'm 43, and I'm still not ready to.
Why? Because that's what abuse does. It buries you in shame and fear and...you don't report.
— Kristian Bland, unreliable narrator (@unclejeet) September 21, 2018
And even other prominent women are blamed for the crimes committed against them.
I did, it didn’t matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still get blamed #WhyIDidntReport
— Daryl Hannah (@dhlovelife) September 21, 2018
Some are hopeful that this movement is another step in the right direction to end a culture of silence.
Many women on this tag are speaking to staying silent for the need to protect loved ones, particularly fathers, whose only way to deal with the trauma would have been physical violence. We have been living to protect men on every level and it needs to stop. #WhyIDidntReport
— Amee KavaNOPE Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) September 21, 2018