I did not report mine...here's why.
So now that all three debates are over, I am struck by how many people are still questioning why the women didn't come forward till now about Trump. I firmly believe that it's because after the Pussy tape, it became impossible to remain silent. But I can't truly speak for others, so here is why I never reported my assault to the police. And mine was perpetrated by an ordinary man not a billionaire with power.
My assault happened the morning of Halloween last year. Its anniversary is actually pretty close and I have been having some moments where that's hitting me.
I didn't report it though. I thought that reporting it and having to go through a trial where I would most likely be the one being ripped apart would hurt my career in law school. As it turned out the assault itself and my depression was enough to derail me anyway.
I knew it wouldn't be taken seriously. I'd gone online for advice only to be told to grow up. To not ruin his life over something that some people enjoy. That it was my fault for letting him sleep in my bed after only knowing him two months.
I felt confused too. I wondered how far it would have had to gone before I could convince others to take it seriously. I wondered if there was some unwritten rule I didn't know about. Maybe everyone else just believed that once you were dating sleep becomes consent. Or the fact that sex has happened between you two was consent for life. Or maybe sleeping naked in bed was consent enough and I just didn't know that rule.
Then I wondered if it mattered what body part was used. If it had been his penis maybe hats rape but just fingers is perfectly ok.
Then I knew that I'd have to explain that I woke up to fingers in places and froze for minutes. That I only moved once I realized he was going to go for penis sex. Did it even matter that once I did unfreeze and push him away he tried twice more even responding to a no with, "I know you're ready. I made sure"
I mean obviously if I was that scared or displeased with what was happening I would have been able to move sooner.
I even have a type of proof. A text conversation with him admitting he would have continued to penetrative sex regardless of whether I'd woken up or not. But I can't bring myself to use those texts because in my panic and confusion I told him that if he answered honestly I wouldn't press charges. That I just needed to know for my own sanity. The lawyers if it got that far would have had a field day with that.
So there you have it. I was told to grow up. I was afraid of facing the firing range. Afraid my own inaction could be used against me. Afraid my own words texted in a moment of desperation panic and confusion would be used against me. Even to this day when I try to talk about it or when I'm having conversations on forums and I describe my experience I am told to shut up. Get over it. "I enjoy that so obviously he was just experimenting, it's not his fault you didn't like it."
We don't come forward because you haven't let us. You shut us down the moment we try. You call us whores or sluts. You ask us why in a moment of trauma we couldn't be stronger. You show us time and time again that if we do come forward, we will be dragged through the mud, forced to relive the experience, forced to face our attackers as they question our actions. But really this extends farther.
Because when these moments happen, we have already been living in a world that downplays our mistreatment. That tells us to ignore being followed down a street, calls us immature when we give a fake number after he won't let us sidestep out of a conversation, tells us the way we dress is solely responsible for how we are treated, and acts like when we finally say something and bitch about it, its he first time you've ever heard of this happening. It isn't. Unless you have been living under a rock you have seen the injustices, you just didn't notice them. So now it's time to pay attention. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it hasn't happened.
Women are speaking out. Stop using the minuscule percentage of women who misrepresent or falsify to justify your inaction or disbelief.
I didn't report. But I am speaking out. I am a woman. I am a sexual being. I am a human deserving of my rights no matter how I dress or how I use my pussy as long as I'm not infringing on the rights of another.
And I am one of the one in five.