Why report the incident?
Deciding to talk about sexual assault or sexual harassment is not easy. There are many reasons that might keep you silent.
It’s possible you:
- Are afraid of the assailant and fear reprisals
- Feel that you are the only person this has happened to
- Feel guilty
- Are ashamed
- Dread nasty comments
- Fear you will not be believed
- Feel responsible for what happened
- Sometimes have conflicting emotions toward the attacker
- Are fearful of legal proceedings
- Are afraid to upset your friends and family
- Are fearful of the reactions and comments of those around you
But choosing to break the silence allows you to:
- Overcome the shame of the secret that sets you apart
- Make progress and get through the stage of denial and face reality
- Open the door to understanding and help
- Share your experience with compassionate people who will acknowledge what happened to you
- Get in touch with your emotions
- Give you the tools you need to lessen the effects
Reactions following sexual assault or sexual harassment are different from one person to another. The same applies to considering the possibility of reporting the crime. For you, it might be a means to obtain justice, to acknowledge the gravity of what happened to you or to protect other persons from going through the same thing. Nonetheless, deciding not to file a complaint doesn’t mean there was no crime or that it doesn’t matter. It only means that you are not ready, for whatever reason, to engage in these procedures. Whatever you decide, it’s YOUR choice.