Responding to Trump, survivors explain why they don’t report sexual assault – National

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Gosnell stated she’s livid on the therapy of Ford, particularly Trump’s tweet. “After all I perceive why she didn’t report. She should have recognized what would occur to her. And look what’s taking place to her now.”

Scott Berkowitz, president of the anti-sexual violence group RAINN, stated causes for not reporting assaults embody worry of retaliation, worry of the perpetrator attacking once more, social stress from peer teams and easy disgrace.

“The president is misguided about customary habits following a sexual assault,” Berkowitz stated of Trump’s tweet.


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There’s additionally, Berkowitz added, a guilt issue: “Individuals are typically blaming themselves, although they’re clearly not at fault.”

The identical causes are solely exacerbated when victims are of their teenagers, he stated, including that 54 % of these beneath 18 who name the Nationwide Sexual Assault Hotline say they haven’t advised a single different particular person.

Ford and Kavanaugh have been highschool college students — she 15, he 17 — when she alleges the assault occurred. And that, Berkowitz identified, was a long time in the past, when the setting was even much less welcoming than it’s immediately for somebody reporting an assault.

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Katie Cogan, a trauma psychotherapist within the Washington, D.C., space, stated youngsters particularly “virtually by no means inform anybody (about an assault), and in the event that they do it’s often years later. They suppose it’s their fault or attempt to persuade themselves it was no huge deal.”

Cogan stated she obtained quite a few calls on Friday morning, following Trump’s tweet, from sufferers expressing misery over the feedback and feeling anew that “they may by no means be believed.”

Lea Grover was 14 and a freshman in highschool when, she stated, she was raped at a basement social gathering that she had agreed to take care of accompany a buddy, who by no means confirmed up. She stated her assailant fed her alcohol for a number of hours till she was extraordinarily drunk, then led her right into a utility closet the place he assaulted her.


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She had been saying “no” all night, however lastly agreed to enter one other room with him, she stated, pondering she may seize somebody on the way in which and escape. However she didn’t have that likelihood.

She was “paralyzed with worry,” she recalled. “I didn’t suppose I had wherever to go or every other choice” however to submit.

She didn’t report it — “I used to be totally satisfied it was my fault as a result of I had gone to a celebration the place I didn’t know anybody,” she stated. Quickly after, she tried to take her personal life, she stated.

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Years later, as an grownup, she suffered one other assault, and he or she did report that one, although she didn’t finally press fees. Final yr she wrote an article concerning the worry concerned in coming ahead, titled “Don’t Inform Me To not Communicate Up Once I Can’t Even Say His Title.”

Requested her response to Trump’s remarks, Grover, now 34 and a author who works with survivors of gender-based violence, famous that her assault in highschool was so unhealthy that she was nonetheless unable to debate it together with her mother and father till 15 years later — when she started talking publicly about it.

Coming ahead was — and nonetheless is — painful for each them and for her, she stated. “Solely somebody incapable of human empathy wouldn’t perceive that.”

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