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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.
\u201cI 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!\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1537535673
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.
\u201cI was four, and he said he\u2019d kill me. #WhyIDidntReport\u201d— David Leavitt (@David Leavitt) 1537546187
\u201c#WhyIDidntReport. The first time it happened, I was 7. I told the first adults I came upon. They said \u201cOh, he\u2019s a nice old man, that\u2019s not what he meant.\u201d 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.\u201d— ashley judd (@ashley judd) 1537549974
\u201c@Alyssa_Milano #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.\u201d— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano) 1537544325
\u201cI 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\u201d— Abigail Hauslohner (@Abigail Hauslohner) 1537546800
\u201cI was told Texas\u2019 statute of limitations had passed, and I had no criminal legal recourse.\n\n#WhyIDidntReport\u201d— Charlotte Clymer \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Charlotte Clymer \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1537547260
\u201c#WhyIDidntReport \n\nBecause I was scared\nBecause I was ashamed\nBecause I did not want to lose my job\nBecause I am traumatized \nBecause nobody will believe me\nBecause it wasn\u2019t a big deal\nBecause I deserved it\nBecause I get anxiety\nBecause somebody may harm me again\u201d— Danny Deraney (@Danny Deraney) 1537551292
\u201c#WhyIDidntReport:\n\nBecause there were no avenues for holding him accountable that didn\u2019t involve the police. \n\nBecause I told myself it wasn\u2019t \u201cbad enough.\u201d\n\nBecause it was gutting to admit \u2014 even to myself \u2014 that I was assaulted.\u201d— Sophie Ellman-Golan (@Sophie Ellman-Golan) 1537550153
\u201c#WhyIDidntReport my sexual assault.\n\nI was living in a time when someone who identified as a gay teenager would NOT be taken seriously by the police.\n\nI believed that I would be mocked & ridiculed for being gay.\n\nI also felt it was MY fault.\n\nI didn't think they would believe me.\u201d— Peter Morley (@Peter Morley) 1537550700
\u201cThere were 5 other rich, white boys in my boyfriend's college frat room.\nI was poor white trash on a scholarship.\nI was drunk and drugged and passed around like a fucking bong.\nLike a game of hot potato.\nI thought he loved me.\nI was embarrassed and scared.\n#WhyIDidntReport\u201d— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly) 1537547609
\u201cI 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.\n #WhyIDidntReport\u201d— \ud83c\udf39#PortiaABoulger (@\ud83c\udf39#PortiaABoulger) 1537550168
Still, there are many who are not ready to come forward, but that makes their stories of abuse no less valid.
\u201cThere are so many women who are not participating in the #WhyIDidntReport tag because they can\u2019t. For many reasons.\u201d— Gretchen Scott (@Gretchen Scott) 1537551588
\u201cI 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.\n\nWhy? Because that's what abuse does. It buries you in shame and fear and...you don't report.\u201d— Kristian Bland, unreliable narrator (@Kristian Bland, unreliable narrator) 1537546738
And even other prominent women are blamed for the crimes committed against them.
\u201cI did, it didn\u2019t matter, I was dismissed, disparaged, & I still get blamed #WhyIDidntReport\u201d— Daryl Hannah (@Daryl Hannah) 1537547837
Some are hopeful that this movement is another step in the right direction to end a culture of silence.
\u201cMany 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\u201d— Amee-Hakeem Jeffries is the man-Vanderpool (@Amee-Hakeem Jeffries is the man-Vanderpool) 1537554644