Warning: This post is about sexual assault and may cause distress for some readers.
Last year the #MeToo movement used social media as a powerful protest tool.
Those who were ready to speak about their experiences of sexual assault and abuse went public with their stories, and people were forced to take notice.
You may have seen another hashtag go viral over the weekend. This time, it aims to answer a question often asked of victims: Why didn’t you report it?
Thousands of women and men shared their stories of sexual assault, and why they did not report their abusers with #WhyIDidntReport.
The hashtag was trending online all weekend, and it’s no surprise that reading its messages stir up a lot of feelings: The stories are maddening, powerful and heartbreaking.
Where did the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag come from?
People shared the challenges in reporting abuse after United States President Donald Trump took to his very public diary, Twitter, to question why Professor Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, took so long to come forward.
“If the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed,” he tweeted.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Ford alleged that Kavanaugh and a friend – both “stumbling drunk” – corralled her into a bedroom during the 1980s.