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Advocate says women may wait years to reveal sexual assault because of lack of support

Despite allegations against Judge Roy Moore, many people are questioning the accusers.{ } We spoke to an advocate about why people may be hesitant to speak after an incident.

We've seen a lot of people commenting on our Facebook page asking why these women waited so long to say something.

Even Roy Moore's campaign has asked that question.

We sat down with someone who deals with sexual assault every day. Rhiannon Reese told us the fear of people not believing their story. Simply take a look at some of the comments on the ABC 33/40 Facebook page concerning these allegations. It can get down right ugly.

No matter what allegations come out against the Republican Senate Candidate, not everyone is standing by the victims. At a news conference Beverly Young Nelson said, "I was terrified . He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me."

People are questioning the stories of the accusers as much as the accused. As a patient advocate, Reese knows why victims don't speak up right away sometimes even years later. Reese told ABC 33/40, "People wait because they feel like they aren't going to be supported or believed."

Something Nelson said Moore told her many years ago. "If you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you." Nelson explained about her experience.

Reese said it's a societal trend. "I think that is just rape culture, you know not believing victims." said Reese.

One comment on our Facebook page reads: "Still voting for Judge Roy Moore in Alabama! I do not believe the women." Reese explained victim shaming plays a big role in being silent.

Something some of Facebook commenters recognize. "They wanna know well what did you do to cause this but any other crime nobody says, 'what did you do to cause this? How is it your fault somebody broke into your house." Reese said.

Reese said many of these women are finding strength in numbers to tell their stories many years later, simply because others are doing it. But she says we should comfort, not blame the victim . "Believe them, the first time they tell you. Because if you don't believe them the first time they are not going to tell you again," Reese explained. "And I think if we can start believing people the first time they tell us it would be a lot easier to empathize and support them."


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