“Why now?” It’s a question sexual assault survivors are asked when they decide to speak up. The fear and doubt around whether they will be believed often results in them remaining silent. For Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, we look at the many reasons ranging from emotional and physical repercussions to their experiences being invalidated and why survivors of sexual abuse chose not to report the crimes.
#whyididntreport because he was my boyfriend, a person i was supposed to trust and he asked me if i was okay after he did it, he made me think it was normal.
— lucie 🍓 (@ljbrown00) June 5, 2020
🧚🏼♀️ when your ex reports his own dad for sexually assaulting you 💕 but doesn’t ask you first 💅🏽 and lets the community hate you for it ✨ then posts happy father’s day pics with your abuser 🌸 #whyididntreport
— jaymays mancuso (@jaymaysmancuso) June 22, 2020
— Sophia A. Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) February 2, 2021
#WhyIDidntReport I was 19, dealing with a bipolar diagnosis that my family didn't understand. I didn't want to bring it up because I thought I would upset my family. I'm low-income and couldn't afford a lawyer. I was also, young and very, very, scared.
— Painkillaa (@seatonni) January 30, 2021
I was four.
It took me one decade to realize it had actually happened, and damn near another decade to realize I was worthy of speaking on it.
— cath (@cathbobath) June 4, 2020
#whyididntreport bc it’s easier to pretend it didn’t happen than to have everyone look at me differently, bc he was my friend, bc he was a well known face, bc I don’t remember enough details to be able to tell anyone exactly what happened even tho we both knew it did. no means no
— gubs💗 (@gabbiebrown13) June 5, 2020
#whyididntreport The first time I was too young to realize what happened so I thought it was my fault even though I said no. The second time we had mutual friends so I was scared nobody would believe me.
— Jordyn Brown (@Jo_my_gosh_) June 4, 2020
can’t count the times i’ve typed in #whyididntreport and deleted because i wasn’t ready.
I was 9.
You are not alone. 🤍
— mich (@mhugues13) June 5, 2020
#whyididntreport i was 17 and he was 18. it was my first time. he was a student athlete, soon to be engineering major, and friends with my friends. i didn’t think anyone would believe me. i didn’t want to ruin his life. i can still feel his hands on my neck.
— winnie! (@winblah) June 6, 2020
#whyididntreport it was a family member and for years, i had completely erased the memory. i blamed myself for freezing and not yelling for help that was less then 10 ft away. i was scared to create drama within my family and feared rejection. i thought that i deserved it
— tina 🪐 (@soriano_xtina) June 6, 2020
#whyididntreport bc i STILL don’t know if it was assault or not. everyone around me was deciding for me if it was or wasn’t, and before i knew it rumors spread about MULTIPLE ppl assaulting me. then everyone made me publicly apologize for “spreading” those rumors.
— little girl (@kayayadams) June 4, 2020
I was 13, I didn’t know what was happening to me, they posted pictures of me online afterwards.
I was 15, he told me it didn’t go all the way in, so it wasn’t r*pe.
I was 17, he was my bestfriend, I was asleep.
Don’t ask me #whyididntreport
No one took me seriously. Ever.
— maya (@mayaxcharan) June 5, 2020
Why I didn’t report the violence I experienced… Victim-blaming: “You lead him on” “He would never do that” “That’s exaggerating” “You have no proof” “Boys will be boys” “You never said no” “Did you scream?” Etc. #WhyIDidntReport #MeToo pic.twitter.com/9eApVt9wZ0
— Dr Michael Flood (@MichaelGLFlood) August 7, 2020
#whyididntreport bc he was 12 years older, he knew people I knew, he was 6ft + and I’m 5’3, I was scared he would hurt me if I did, I was scared I wouldn’t be believed, I didn’t even believe myself that I’d done nothing wrong. I still struggle with accepting I wasn’t to blame
— ✨ (@jadeantoinetter) June 6, 2020
I was 18 when I was unconsciously raped at a party. It wasn’t until I woke up next to a used condom wrapper that I realized what had happened. I went home and cried for hours. My best friend at the time told me I would ruin their friend group if I spoke up. #whyididntreport
— ♡lil scoop♡ (@rachgilots_) June 5, 2020
It’s crazy to see so many of my friends posting #whyididntreport
None of us told each other.
Not because we thought the people we loved would judge us, but because we were judging ourselves.
We were ashamed of a crime someone else committed against us.
— Molly☮️ (@mollykristina_m) June 4, 2020
#whyididntreport I actually did and sat at public safety until like 3am filing a report but when I met with detectives/officers, I was asked why I didn’t fight back. I was also told that he would’ve been kicked off the football team if I went through with an investigation 🙃
— Katie (@katielorrainee) June 4, 2020