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Sharing – Why I Stayed Silent

The central question of the article below is a good one:

Why Do victims of nonsexual violent crimes usually involve authorities while most rape survivors remain silent? 

Most of the article is about adult sexual assault, but she points out that children who are sexually abused face this same question for similar reasons. Those reasons include the shame of being a victim, the risk of not being believed, the risk of being blamed for it, and the complications of reporting someone you know.

Think of it this way. If you’ve ever been the victim of another crime, like theft or physical assault, was there any doubt that you would tell people and report it? Did most people you told immediately ask if you got law enforcement involved? I can imagine the conversation:

You – “I got jumped by someone with a weapon who stole my car.”

Them – “That sucks, what did the police say? Do they think they can catch them?” 

Compare that to the conversations too many victims of sexual assault have:

You – “I was sexually assaulted.” Followed by some details of where and who did it. 

Them – “Are you sure it wasn’t just a misunderstanding? What were you wearing? Were you drinking? If you don’t remember every detail, maybe it didn’t happen.” 

Then, we wonder why these crimes go mostly unreported.

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