Parenting

Women Share What Happens When There's No 'Proof' Of Sexual Assault

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Image via Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty/Twitter/David Weissman

Women are taking to Twitter to share what happens when there’s no “proof” of a sexual assault

On Thursday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford stood in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and shared her story of sexual assault. She said that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attacked her as a teen, tried to take off her clothes, and covered her mouth when she screamed. That heartbreaking story wasn’t enough to convince the majority of the Republicans on the committee, who stood firmly by Kavanaugh.

Now, women are taking to Twitter to explain the painful realities of reporting sexual assault, especially when you don’t have “proof” to share other than their account of what happened. Which should be enough.

Twitter user David Weissman‏ began the discussion by posting an open question to survivors. “My question is, when people say there is no proof, what do you tell them?”

Many women pointed out that it’s often very difficult to offer up solid proof that they have been sexually abused, other than their own testimony.

Even when there is solid proof to share, they said that it actually doesn’t help very much.

https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1045814193767604225

And don’t forget about the emotional proof that’s not always visible to the rest of the world.

Some women noted that they haven’t tried to report the crimes because they knew they would receive intense, unfair scrutiny.

https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1045479190714306561

And they’ve already had to deal with people who have shut down their traumatic experience

The statistics behind unreported rapes are heartbreaking and sadly completely unsurprising. Only 310 out of 1,000 rapes are reported to the police. Part of the reason, RAINN noted, is that some survivors don’t believe that the authorities can actually help them (perhaps because they fear they don’t have enough “proof”). It doesn’t help that perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to go to jail than other criminals. In fact, out of 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will sidestep going to prison.

Some people argue that alleged abusers shouldn’t be punished for sexual crimes when there’s not enough evidence. And yet, these critics are completely casting aside the women who has stepped forward with her story.

“Accusations against them can ruin their life? What about my life? It was changed forever,” Twitter user @ChaosityKitty wrote.I’m not even sure who I’d be if it hadn’t happened to me. Why is protecting their lives more important than holding them accountable for ruining ours?”

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