The Big Question: Do I Report Sexual Assault or Not?


At the end of this video, I was speechless. To think that the people that are supposed to protect you and look out for your best interest could dismiss you so easily is frighting. More and more, I hear stories on the news or see stories online about women not reporting sexual assault. Statistics are getting higher and higher everyday of rape and harassment and how the culture of rape is growing. This discussion of women that are involved has to change as well; It can not longer be about “what she was wearing” or “how much did she have to drink.” What kind of message does that send to young girls and even to young boys??

To watch this young women tell others, that have been sexually assaulted, to “not have high expectations,” of the justice system is horrifyingly sad; it highlights how truly broken it is. We need to be the change for all the young girls in the future. We need to change it for the women getting sexually assaulted at this very moment. Lets change it so we never have to hear “The guy didn’t look like a creep,” and know that our claims are being categorized as insignificant. Lets change it so we can feel safe and valued.

8 thoughts on “The Big Question: Do I Report Sexual Assault or Not?

  1. Great post! I can only imagine how frustrated this girl was. Police officers, detectives, judges, and everyone in an authoritative power are people we are supposed to trust. She came to these people to report an assault, and their system had enough power to just shut it down and act like it didn’t happen. This is absolutely not okay. If you were an officer and you didn’t agree with what someone was reporting because of your personal opinions, then you shouldn’t have the power to end the case.

    What shocked me the most was that the officer said the man who assaulted her wasn’t a creep. Just because he doesn’t look like one or even if the officer knew him personally, it doesn’t mean he didn’t do what he did to that girl. This just ties into what you were saying about “blaming the victim.” Just because this man didn’t seem like the typical creep, they automatically blamed the victim for making it up. This is how our culture is viewing rape victims and their stories and we need to change the way we think.

  2. Thank you for this post, I believe it brings us to think about some serious problems within our criminal justice system. We, as a country, have effectively told young women and men that rape happens and that victims can be to blame. People do not want to report sexual assault or talk about what has happened to them because there really is not support from the government. Thank you for this post… It’s upsetting that people won’t speak out, but if maybe we can teach our sons not to be rapists, and how to respect and treat women, then maybe we won’t have to worry about who to point the fingers to!

  3. Hey, great article, thanks for the post! I was thinking about this today actually when I was walking on campus and read a sign that stated something along the lines of “women are more likely to be raped after using drugs,” which again is a form of victim blaming. Instead of addressing the larger issue, which is drug abuse amongst people suffering with mental illness, it creates, in my opinion, that victim blaming mentality which is negative for our culture as a whole. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), “Mental illnesses can lead to drug abuse. Individuals with overt, mild, or even subclinical mental disorders may abuse drugs as a form of self-medication.” ( Thanks again for the post, very thought-provoking.

  4. Watching this as a male was very interesting. By interesting, I mean troubling. Her glass half-empty approach to such a devastating situation was uncharacteristic of many victims (male or female) who walk away from an assault such as this. It was terrifying to hear how her detectives responded to her predicament, so I suppose I can understand her stance on the issue. This video just goes to show that the process for seeking justice for rape and sexual assault is sick and hurting from the inside and suffers a systemic problem.

  5. Seeing this is simply disappointing and disgusting, to hear how the justice system won’t do its job, especially with the case at hand. Victims of sexual assault shouldn’t feel as if their case or lives are not important enough, to be brushed aside just because “..your offender isn’t a creep.” A sad truth about how the justice system works, and it does needs to be changed by us. To feel unimportant, unprotected, and taken lightly with sexual assault cases like these will only decrease the number of assaults reported to the point where it might truly never be reported again. Any assault case that makes some feel doubt on whether or not they want to report it, is just another example why things need to be changed in the justice system. So that women who are sexually assaulted are also not blamed for being the victim.

  6. Jessica,
    I was so disappointed by the end of this, just as you were, because I did not anticipate her to end with the comment “don’t have high expectations.” I suppose she’s truthful based on her experience, but it’s a bit too pessimistic for my taste. I don’t think she’s off base though. Without even taking a case to the police, sexual assault victims are doubted by the people they love most, and that’s one of the most painful things to watch. I know that I will always do my best to be an advocate for survivors and support anyone I can because no one should feel alone through something as traumatic as sexual assault.

  7. This video hit me pretty hard. I’ve known people who have been sexually assaulted that have felt that they could not report or fight the assault in court. The fact that some women already feel that way and are then told to not even go through with fighting against the assault is absolutely ridiculous. Of all people, law enforcement officials should be as helpful and optimistic as possible in those situations. The point that I found most interesting in the video and post overall, is that the police officer was the one to basically shut down the case. If police officers don’t have any hope in the system then clearly there is a problem that needs to be fixed. This gives me the idea that women and men, all people that sexual assault has effected, should start to raise awareness of this issue. The more people know, the more they are informed, and the more likely we can make a change. People should also be going to their government officials to work with them on a way to fix this issue. No one should have to back down from taking legal action because people assume it’s too hard. I think this video relates back to our class discussion on sexual assault. In class we realized that most of us students did not know where to report an assault or even know how we should go about dealing with that type of situation. Students in our class can help students around this campus to be more informed and not be afraid of situations like the one in the video happen around our community. Now is the time to be informed and speak up.

    • Natalie,
      I also think that everyone especially law enforcement officials should be as optimistic as possible. This subject is a touchy one, and one that you have to treat with the utmost care and sensitivity. I also agree that more people need to know and be informed, but I believe that more than just the people affected by sexual assault should be willing to spread awareness. Since for survivors of sexual assault this can be a difficult topic to discuss I believe that loved ones of the victims and bystanders are the people who should be raising the most awareness to this issue. One of the most important things to remember when raising awareness is to inform people to not blame the victim. Blaming the victim happens when people assume woman get assaulted and even raped because of how they’re dressed or what they’re wearing. When you blame the victim you are holding them responsible for someone else hurting them. Thanks for the post!

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