In other “you have got to be kidding me” news …
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter (because, what else does he ever do) to tell the world how he really feels about the sexual assault allegations made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump continued. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
According to college professor Christine Blasey Ford, at a party in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her, attempted to undress her and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told The Washington Post.
First off, to call Kavanaugh “under assault” when he is being accused of sexual assault has to be one of the most insensitive choices in language that Trump could have possibly made given the circumstances. Isn’t he supposed to have the best words?
After the accusation first surfaced, Trump refrained from attacking Dr. Ford and said she deserved to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Today’s tweets mark a sharp change in his tone.
What Trump seems not to know (or is choosing to ignore) is the reality that most sexual assaults go unreported to the police. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means that more than two out of every three cases go unreported.
Victims of sexual violence who choose not to report the crime might refrain out of fear of retaliation—either by the perpetrator or broader society, because they believe that officials can or will do little to help—or for a multitude of other reasons.
Ford expressed a similar sentiment to The Washington Post: “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?”
Trump also claims that if not Dr. Ford herself, “her loving parents” would have filed charges, despite Dr. Ford having already shared with the public that she never told them.
“She told no one at the time what had happened to her,” The Post writes. “She was terrified, she said, that she would be in trouble if her parents realized she had been at a party where teenagers were drinking.”
On top of that, one can only imagine the pain that this information would have caused Ford’s loved ones. It’s not unreasonable to assume that Ford preferred to take the pain on as her own.
In response to Trump’s tweet, the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport has been trending on Twitter all morning long. Numerous women are coming forward to educate the President of the United States on the many reasons why victims choose to remain silent.