Alyssa Milano Joins Other Sexual Assault Survivors In Sharing #WhyIDidntReport

"Speaking up meant reliving one of the worst moments of my life."

Over the weekend, actress Alyssa Milano joined fellow survivors of sexual assault in sharing #WhyIDidntReport. The hashtag comes in response to a recent tweet from President Donald Trump, in which he questioned why Christine Blasey Ford didn't file charges against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when he allegedly assaulted her in high school.

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Milano, who has been an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement since last year, tweeted at Trump on Friday, sharing that it took her 30 years to tell her parents about her own sexual assault as a teenager, and encouraging other survivors to tell their own stories. She later added to the conversation in an essay for Vox, writing that Trump's tweet "chilled me to my core."

"Victims of sexual assault often don't report what happened because they know all too well that our stories are rarely taken seriously or believed — and that when it comes to sexual misconduct, our justice system is broken," Milano wrote, pointing out that Ford, like many others, has received "disbelief, pushback, hate, and death threats" for speaking up.

"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," the actress continued. "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."

Many survivors have shared their own stories using the #WhyIDidntReport hashtag, some of them explaining that they were Ford's age or even younger when the assaults occurred. They made it clear that she was far from alone in taking time to tell her story.

Milano pointed out that stories like hers and others who have spoken out using the hashtag are "tragically common," urging readers to listen to these accounts, and encouraging survivors to share their experiences "in your own time," reminding them, "You are human. You are important."

She ended her piece by making it clear that she believes Ford's allegations, adding, "I demand that our Senators vote to reject Brett Kavanaugh as the next Justice on the Supreme Court."

Cover image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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