#WhyWomenDontReport Sexual Assault Summed Up in 11 All-Too-True Tweets

Woman on a phone

Many recent hashtags -- from #NotOkay to #PussyGrabsBack -- have been fueled by the rhetoric about women that has surfaced during the 2016 election season. But oddly enough, I'm kind of grateful that, despite all the nasty words being spoken, a conversation about women and what women face on a daily basis is starting to be heard -- for real. The latest hashtag, #WhyWomenDontReport, has been tacked onto tweets that offer provoking, raw, and chilling explanations that perfectly sum up the rape culture that every woman everywhere should be struggling to end.


The hashtag began circulating after Vox senior correspondent Elizabeth Plank asked followers on Twitter why they didn't come forward in the moment to report their sexual assaults. Why did she ask this? Well, because of all the negative comments (hashtag #NextFakeTrumpVictim included) being hurled at those who recently accused Donald Trump of incidents of past sexual assault.

Here's her call to action:

Thus, a conversation was born.

Assault and harassment is the unfortunate reality of being a woman in this world, but at least having the conversation is the starting point to change that. And, hopefully, in reading some of these, a girl or a woman somewhere will be lifted out of her shame or her fear and be prompted to speak out.

More from CafeMom: Meet the Powerful Hashtag Women Are Using to Fight Sexual Assault -- & Trump

So we thought we'd share 11 powerful reasons women have cited for why sexual assault isn't reported.  

1. Because harassment and assault often, sadly, become part of the everyday routine.

2. Because people don't see the gravity and pervasivenss of the problem. 

3. Because due process is often gender-biased. 

4. Because offenders are sometimes authority figures chosen to protect us. 

5. Because there's no greater feeling of hopelessness than having to relive something so horrific. 

6. Because slut-shaming is even written into law in some places.

More from CafeMom: Amber Tamblyn's Story of Sexual Assault Is Why Trump's Words Are #NotOkay

7. Because people try to convince us that we're to blame.

8. Because we can't even type about it silently without the world pointing fingers back at us.

9. Because reporting often won't minimize whatever shame or guilt we may already feel.

 10. Because, well, see #7: VICTIM-BLAMING.

More from CafeMom: EL James Addresses That Meme Comparing 'Fifty Shades' to Trump's Words

11. Because perpetrators will be glorified, celebrated, and delicately cared for while we struggle to pick up the pieces to our own. 

So the next time you feel that you want to question a woman about why it is that it took her so long to come forward about surviving sexual assault, refer to this handy list and leave the rape culture chatter at the door. 


If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, you can find help and support at RAINN.org, the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 800 656 HOPE (4673), or Safe Horizon Crime Victims Hotline 1 866 689 HELP (4357).

Images via ljubaphoto/iStock

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