In a tweet on Friday, President Donald Trump questioned why the woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault didn’t go to police if the incident had been “as bad as she says.”
It didn’t take long for Trump to get many, many answers.
Sexual assault survivors — from celebrities to journalists to everyone in between — flooded Twitter with stories about why they didn’t go to law enforcement with their reports of assault. Those messages sent #WhyIDidntReport to the top of the social network’s trending list on Friday.
“I was 17. Raped by a friend. I was confused. In denial. Afraid,” wrote Washington Post reporter Abigail Hauslohner. “His parents were richer & better connected than my parents. He was a ‘good’ student.”
Hauslohner said she told just one friend — and that friend reacted by telling her the perpetrator would “never do that.”
The controversy over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination erupted after Christine Blasey Ford, a clinical psychologist in California, accused Kavanaugh of holding her down on a bed, assaulting her and stifling her screams at a party in suburban Washington decades ago, when they were both teenagers.
Trump defended Kavanaugh in a Tweet Friday, writing that he “is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don’t matter.”
Actress Ashley Judd said in a #WhyIDidntReport tweet that first time she survived a sexual assault was at seven years old. She said that troubling experience colored how she handled a later sexual assault.
“I told the first adults I came upon,” Judd wrote. “They said ‘Oh, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant.’ So when I was raped at 15, I only told my diary. When an adult read it, she accused me of having sex with an adult man.”
Judd was one of the women to first publicly accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct last year — helping spark the #MeToo movement and bringing to light stories of sexual assault in the film industry, media and beyond.
Male survivors of assault added their voices as well.
And some — including politicians — simply voiced their support for survivors who speak out.
Here are more stories survivors shared: