“When I was sexually assaulted, I wasn’t that much older than Christine Blasey Ford — now a PhD in psychology — was when she was allegedly assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,” Alyssa Milano wrote in the essay published on Vox. “I’ve watched, horrified as politicians and pundits refused to believe or take seriously these allegations. Then, on Friday morning, President Trump tweeted that if Ford’s words were true, she would have filed a report with local law enforcement years ago. This statement chilled me to my core.”
The 45-year-old actress went on to write that it took her “years” after the assault to speak up about the experience to her friends and “three decades” before she told her parents. Milano says she never “filed a police report.”
The reason it took her so long, Milano revealed, is because “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 sharing her personal story of #WhyIDidntReport saw the hashtag trending on Twitter with other celebrities joining the movement and revealing why they kept quiet.
Riverdale star Lili Reinhart and Double Jeopardy actress Ashley Judd, who was one of the first movie stars to go on the record in October 2017 about her alleged assault by Harvey Weinstein, both took to Twitter to share why they didn’t go to authorities after being sexually assaulted or harassed.
Reinhart tweeted that she was concerned if she came forward she might lose her job or “make people think I was a drama queen.”
Judd tweeted that the first time she was assaulted she was just seven years old and when she told an adult they said, “Oh, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant.” So, the actress says when she was “raped at 15,” she only told her diary.
Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi also joined the movement, tweeting that she was “7 the first time I was sexually assaulted. He was a relative of my mom’s second husband. I told my folks and they sent me away. #WhyIDidntReport”.
The TV host also tweeted about two further times when she suffered sexual assault and why she didn’t come forward.
Everyone who has bravely shared their stories about #WhyIDidntReport has received an outpouring of support on social media which will hopefully lead to significant and much-needed change.