Thousands of women are sharing their stories and the reasons why so many find it difficult to report sexual violence.
On October 13th, a trending hashtag — #WhyWomenDontReport — brought the obstacles faced by survivors of sexual assault to light in a flood of thousands of personal messages.
From fear of not being believed to the trauma of going through with prosecution, survivors often find it difficult to report sexual assault or rape.
As the thousands of responses make clear, the decision to report sexual violence can be deeply personal and daunting.
Because I was 18 and I needed the summer job and he was the restaurant’s manager #WhyWomenDontReport
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) October 13, 2016
Because he was my landlord. Because I was 21 and feared homelessness. Because my father told me to figure it out myself. #WhyWomenDontReport
— Niki Roberts (@LDYPrefers2Save) October 13, 2016
Because “what did you do to provoke him?” is asked more often than “it’s not your fault” is said. #WhyWomenDontReport
— Annie E. Clark (@aelizabethclark) October 13, 2016
— Galaxy Girl (@Twilek666) October 13, 2016
it was their relative
it was their boss
it was their friend
it was their teacher
it was unlikely they would be believed
— Jaclyn Opritza (@jaclynopritza) October 14, 2016
Because if you report immediately, you just “regret the sex.” And if you wait to report, you’re “looking for attention.” #WhyWomenDontReport
— Ponta ? (@typicalfeminist) October 13, 2016
Because it was a family member and I didn’t want to upset everyone in the family.
— Kerri Lyn (@GoddessKerriLyn) October 13, 2016
#whywomendontreport because men like Brock Turner only get 3 months in jail while still being known as a swimmer and not a rapist.
— Normani stan (@Zoeybaby09) October 14, 2016
Because reporting is like being assaulted all over again. #WhyWomenDontReport
— Brandon Cloud (@theclobra) October 13, 2016
Because we’re interrogated as suspects not treated as victims. #WhyWomenDontReport
— ??? (@facesbyalexis) October 14, 2016
— ℅TwinOfTwinWithTwins (@twinsational) October 14, 2016
Becuase people have zero clue what it’s like for your brain and body to freeze completely. What the shame feesl like. #WhyWomenDontReport
— Rachel Thompson (@RachelintheOC) October 13, 2016
Because they dont want to be victimized again by a society that treats the rapist better than the victim
— Jonathan Jewel (@jonathanjewel) October 13, 2016
— Sareana Kimia (@SareanaKimia) October 14, 2016
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, know that resources are available.
Our Rape and Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. 212-227-3000
Survivors outside of NYC, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)