Why Are These Trump Accusers Coming Out NOW?
Why don’t most women report abuse as soon as it happens to them? It’s a fair question.
Well, women who don’t report sexual and/or physical abuse (and I am one of them, though I was fortunate not to encounter the baby-fingered tiny paws of Trump) typically don’t do it because: we’re embarrassed; we think it’s our fault; we know that most cases never go to trial and even fewer result in a conviction; we don’t want to go through the scrutiny, shame and humiliation of a trial; we know that we’re not “the perfect victim” (because we are not married, monogamous, blonde, blue-eyed, white, rich, Christian, etc. or we have prior convictions or we were cheating on our husband or we were with a guy who was cheating on his girlfriend or he’s our boss or we’re his boss…the list goes on); we’re frightened he’ll do something worse to us; we’re frightened he’ll do something worse to our friends; we’re afraid he’ll hurt our children; we’re ashamed of ourselves for being strong women who would “let” a man do that to us; we’ve heard horror stories about how the police and social workers will handle the situation; we don’t have enough money for a lawyer; we are afraid we’ll be ostracized by the friends we have in common with the guy; we’re afraid we’ll be ostracized by our family or his; we are afraid we will lose a job; we’re afraid we’ll be sued for defamation of character; we’re afraid we’ll be killed.
And as several women reminded me today, many women do report it the first time it happens when we are little girls and guess what? We get yelled at or scolded or beaten or rejected by the folks who are supposed to defend us and protect us. So we learn to keep quiet the next time it happens.
When we do name somebody, it’s often because our fear of retribution and humiliation is finally smaller than our fear he’ll do something worse to other folks. Or, say, an entire country.