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On the “evidence gap” in sexual assault cases

If you are looking to show that you support survivors today: share a survivor story instead of another news article or meme that doesn’t offer solutions.

We are doing survivors a great disservice by sharing memes and articles that don’t show support.

I hear the argument for evidence a lot. Every single person, male or female, who resisted my messages of support for survivors yesterday asked about evidence. So let’s talk about why there is a lack of evidence. That is the question we should be asking.

There is a lack of evidence because a lot of survivors don’t report. We don’t report because we don’t feel safe to do so. And then we hold this trauma silently, because every model we’ve ever seen publicly displayed is one of the survivors not being supported or believed.

We need to talk about THAT. That is one of the roots of this problem.

The lack of evidence in a sexual assault case is a symptom of a society that doesn’t support survivors.

Dr. Ford’s testimony is a perfect example of what happens when survivors come forward. Can you see why we wouldn’t want to subject ourselves to that?

I shouldn’t feel like I need to make a list of dates, times, names, and details of every single assault I’ve suffered over my life. But humans are smart and we pick up on patterns. And yesterday displayed to me that if I ever intend to come forward if one of my assaulters is about to be in a position of power, a position like a lifetime appointment, during which this candidate will make decisions which will affect millions of lives, I better have every single duck in every single row and I better have witnesses and notes and everything or else it didn’t happen.

SURVIVORS: Just because you didn’t report doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Period. Full stop.

NOT REPORTING DOES NOT NEGATE WHAT YOU SURVIVED.

Your trauma is real, your trauma is yours, and trauma is not a competition, no matter what the nay-sayers will try to tell you.

#believesurvivors

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