If Trump has done nothing good during the fiasco that his nomination of a Supreme Court justice who may be an attempted rapist, he did at least get survivors of sexual assault speaking out against their abusers. The #whyIdidntreport hashtag has gone viral on Twitter, and survivors are informing the public about why so many victims don’t report and disbelieving their accounts when they do due a span of passing time is simply wrong and cruel.
Democratic State Senator from New Hampshire Marta S. Hennessey told her story on Facebook, as many survivors have done.
After her Facebook post, Hennessey sat for an interview with WMUR 9, where she explained that:
‘This occurred in the early days of co-education at Dartmouth,” she said, “I was in the first class of co-education, and there were only 180 of us. And the message was loud and clear that you do not rock the boat.’
State Sen. Martha Hennessey @hennessey4nh tells me in interview she decided to speak up about being sexually assaulted in '76 at Dartmouth as a result of @POTUS tweets on Kavanaugh-Ford. Much more to come on @WMUR9 #nhpolitics via @jdistaso
— WMUR TV (@WMUR9) September 21, 2018
Hennessey’s parents, as anyone who has respect for their daughter’s agency would, let her make the decision as to whether or not she wanted to report it to local police after campus police dismissed her account.
‘”When I went to see the campus police, the bruises were visible,” she said. She chose not to pursue it, but said her father later confronted the attacker “and told him he would never receive a Dartmouth diploma if he did it again.” She said her father “left it up to me” whether to pursue the incident further.’
Careful how you tread, GOP @senjudiciary @ChuckGrassley @OrrinHatch @JeffFlake @SenSasse @SenMikeLee @GOPChairwoman @KellyannePolls @PressSec NH state Sen. Martha Hennessey discloses assault by male classmate at Dartmouth 42 years ago https://t.co/sr2gBNex3b
— Shelby Sprague (@sprague716) September 22, 2018
In today’s volatile political climate, it’s unsurprising that so many on the right would be skeptical of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Ford, considering the timing of the claim. The problem is not just the disbelief, even thought it is exceedingly rare for women to lie in their accounts of victimization. It’s about why they don’t believe her. If it’s simply because “she didn’t report,” that counts out the vast majority of victims from being believed about their reports, as well.
Featured image via Facebook by Martha Hennessey