Alyssa Milano, a leading voice of the Me Too movement, took to social media to respond to President Donald Trump’s tweet in which he cast doubt on Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser for not “immediately” reporting the alleged sexual assault to law enforcement.
“Hey, @realDonaldTrump, Listen the f*** up,” she wrote on Twitter. “I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell me [sic] parents.”
Milano also invited followers to add to the conversation with their own experiences in the comment section. She was responding to a Friday tweet by the president who said Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh were likely not “as bad as she says” because she never reported it in the 35 years since it allegedly happened.
Two days after her tweet, Milano penned a first-person essay for Vox in which she opened up about her own experience with sexual assault and rape.
“It took me years after my assault to voice the experience to my closest friends. It took me three decades to tell my parents that the assault had even happened. I never filed a police report. I never told officials. I never tried to find justice for my pain because justice was never an option,” she wrote in the essay.
Milano, 45, wrote the essay amid the national discussion that has ensued since Ford, 51, a professor in Northern California, came forward with the accusation that a 17-year-old Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party when they were both in high school in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Trump’s Twitter response to the issue, Milano said, “chilled me to my core.”
Hey, @realDonaldTrump, Listen the fuck up.
I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell me parents.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 21, 2018
Far too many women know that Trump’s assumption that victims of sexual assault promptly report the case to authorities is false, she wrote.
“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,” she wrote in the essay. “Now, we are seeing our worst nightmares realized when we see the disbelief, pushback, hate, and death threats Ford is receiving just because she had the courage to speak up.”
Since Milano’s tweet and subsequent first-person narrative, victims of assault have taken to social media under the “WhyIDidntReport” hashtag to share their reasons for not speaking up about their assaults earlier. The different stories generally revolve around the fear of being dismissed, fear of repercussions, self-blame, or a desire to forget and move on.