As more and more people share why they didn’t report their sexual assault following Donald Trump’s comments about Christine Blasey Ford, Alyssa Milano wrote an essay for Vox explaining why she didn’t report the assault she experienced as a teen.
She directly addressed the allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, and Donald Trump’s response to those allegations. “The courage of survivors will always be stronger than Donald Trump’s hate. The lives of survivors will always be more important than Brett Kavanaugh’s career,” she wrote. “I’ve watched, horrified as politicians and pundits refused to believe or take seriously these allegations.”
Milano also highlighted the realities of sexual abuse in the United States: One in four girls and one in six boys will experience sexual assault before they turn 18. Many will not report their abuse. The system in place to handle sexually based offenses is often ineffective.
She wrote about the very emotional experience of choosing to disclose her assault, and why it took years to do so.
It took me years after my assault to voice the experience to my closest friends. It took me three decades to tell my parents that the assault had even happened. I never filed a police report. I never told officials. I never tried to find justice for my pain because justice was never an option.
For me, speaking up meant reliving one of the worst moments of my life. It meant recognizing my attacker’s existence when I wanted nothing more than to forget that he was allowed to walk on this Earth at all. This is what every survivor goes through. Telling our stories means being vulnerable to public attacks and ridicule when our only “crime” was to be assaulted in the first place.
Milano’s essay was partially a personal exploration of her own response to Donald Trump and the GOP’s comments about Ford’s allegation against Kavanaugh, and partially a reflection of her feelings about her own assault years ago. But it was also a call to action.
“Every person who refuses to loudly and openly reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is telling every generation of Americans that an alleged abuser’s career is more valuable than a survivor’s humanity,” Milano wrote. “And the highest court in our land is no place for an alleged sexual offender to sit.”