Blogcast w/Chris Graham: And you wonder why sexual assaults don’t get reported

supreme courtThose of you who have questions about why the vast majority of sexual assaults aren’t reported: you know, and you’ve always known.

We’re seeing it play out in real time right now with the Brett Kavanaugh-Christine Blasey Ford Supreme Court drama, but it’s not just the high-profile cases involving national TV Senate confirmation hearings.

A friend of my wife posted to Facebook about her experience of having been assaulted as a teen a generation ago. Unlike Blasey Ford, she did report her assault, and her attacker ended up with a slap on the wrist. This after she had to endure the ceaseless questions in the investigation and courtroom process.

The thread included similar stories shared by numerous women who went through almost the exact same experience with how their assaults were treated by the criminal-justice system.

And the lack of justice wasn’t the worst part. Several stories involved attackers who were also family members, and families taking sides in the he said/she said, and wounds that opened that remain open to this day.

And you wonder why sexual assaults don’t get reported. You have to face down being questioned on what you know happened as if you were the perpetrator, loved ones won’t always believe you, those who do might still be inclined to want to write it off, so as not to smear the reputation of the person responsible, and even if you do end up getting your day in court, you’re just as likely to see your attacker walk out of court with you as have that person held responsible.

Look, I’ve got some concerns about #MeToo, and jumping to conclusions, just based on the word of one person who says something happened.

Anyone accused deserves the chance to defend himself – in the court of public opinion, if that’s the desire, as well as, of course, the courts of our legal system, if things get to that point.

Defense against accusation is a fundamental civil right.

A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court coming in just under the deadline of a contentious midterm election is not a fundamental civil right.

Column by Chris Graham


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