Shame, fear: Survivors explain not reporting sexual assaults

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  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 23, 2018 6:55 a.m.

    Shame, guilt, and fear were the reasons I told no one that a neighbor molested me when I was 11. And I was pretty sure my parents would blame rather than support me. Sadly, when I did tell them some 15 years later, I learned that this fear was justified. Fortunately, I also eventually learned that the shame and guilt weren't justified.

    A woman I worked with some years ago revealed to me that she'd been the victim of incest and that I was the only person she'd ever told. One reason she didn't tell her mom is that she feared it would devastate her.

    I utilized individual and group therapy to heal. It wasn't uncommon to learn that every female in the group had experienced sexual abuse as a child or adult, but it was uncommon that they'd told someone at the time.

    IMO, the kind of world that Trump and his base are fighting to preserve is one where women are not believed, where they're punished if they do have the temerity to come forward, and where men always receive the benefit of the doubt and are rarely held accountable. A world where a guy can brag about sexually assaulting females and get elected President.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 22, 2018 7:15 p.m.

    We have an older friend whose daughter was sexually assaulted by a college professor when she went away to college. She didn't tell because she was afraid no one would believe her over the college professor. She never told her parents because of the shame, embarrassment, and she was afraid they would make her quit college and go home. She didn't tell them until she was 50 when it all unraveled.