You are not alone.
That’s been the message on social media as more and more people have come forward to share their stories and experiences with sexual assault and abuse.
The charge was ignited by Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She told the committee that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while she was in high school.
President Trump’s comments about the controversy and the ensuing hearing inspired hashtags like #WhyIDidn’tReport, in which individuals told their stories about why they did not tell authorities about their experiences with sexual assault.
I waited over 20 years to report my sexual abuser.
Because I was 14.
Because it was my hero.
Because it was my priest.
Because I thought I’d be expelled.
Because I feared no one would believe me.
Because I thought suicide was easier than telling 1 person#WhyIDidntReport
— Thomas Roberts (@ThomasARoberts) September 21, 2018
Because I felt ashamed of what happened and didn’t want to publicly ruin someone’s life, even though they privately ruined mine #WhyIDidntReport
— Cara Delevingne (@Caradelevingne) September 27, 2018
It shows that sexual misconduct is, well, banal in American society. It’s even baked into some of our most beloved cultural touchstones, like the film, “Sixteen Candles.”
Molly Ringwald was on Weekend Edition Sunday on October 1, and she told host Lulu Garcia-Navarro this:
On viewing her films more critically
You know, when I made those movies with John Hughes, his intention was to not make Porky’s or Animal House. But I think, you know, as everyone says and I do believe is true, that times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely not acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that’s sort of the way that it was … I feel very differently about the movies now and it’s a difficult position for me to be in because there’s a lot that I like about them. And of course I don’t want to appear ungrateful to John Hughes, but I do oppose a lot of what is in those movies.
How should we cope with this moment of collective trauma?
We know that a lot of you have stories like Professor Ford’s to share with us. We feel honored that many of you have reached out to us to share your experiences. If this news cycle is bringing up traumatic memories, and you need someone to talk to or need help, the number for the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673.
Produced by Avery J.C. Kleinman. Text by Gabrielle Healy.
Karestan Koenen, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Harvard University; @karestankoenen
Mara Gay, Member, Editorial Board, The New York Times; @MaraGay
Lauren Taylor, Founder & Director, Defend Yourself; @1defendyourself
For more, visit https://the1a.org.
© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.