Wednesday, while Twitter was abuzz about the Brett Kavanaugh allegations, writer, professor and television host, Melissa Harris Perry joined in on the conversation by revealing very personal details of her own experience as a victim of rape and shed light on why victims wait so long to come forward.
In 2016, Harris Perry made headlines due to her particularly ugly departure from her hit show on MSNBC. Now, she’s opening up about the traumatic event that occurred to her that same year.
“The first time a man raped me, he was an adult. I was 14. He was my neighbor. I did not tell anyone for nearly a decade,” 44-year-old tweeted.
“The second time a man raped me was the summer of 2016. There are people I told within hours. I have never reported it to the police. I learned from decades of living as a survivor, a public figure that reporting would only bring more pain, not justice.”
“I have no illusions that “telling our stories” makes us strong. I know it can destroy our lives,” she continues. “As I’ve watched this moment unfold I think of my both my African American Grandma Rosa and White grandma Ann who were denied opportunities to explore the full extent of their genius through education.”
“As I’ve watched this moment unfold I think of my childhood friends trapped in low income communities that provided little economic opportunity. And my college friends who’ve struggled with gender and racial bias in the workplace.”
The second time a man raped me was the summer of 2016. There are people I told within hours. I have never reported it to the police. I learned from decades of living as a survivor, a public figure that reporting would only bring more pain, not justice.
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) September 27, 2018
“As I’ve watched this moment unfold I’ve thought of the chairs, deans, provosts who missed my genius. I’ve considered the nasty brutality with which I was treated by media bosses who protected themselves and their positions.”
“And despite the depth of daily trauma I live with as a woman who was raped both when I was still a child and when I was an an adult — I am pissed that ONLY the trauma of rape and sexual assault against women seems to get public attention.”
“The disqualification is not the refusal to respect the right of one woman to consent in one moment. The disqualification is the refusal to respect the right of ALL women to consent at all times,” she concludes.
Followers were shocked by the revelation and sent her love and well wishes on her ongoing journey as a survivor of sexual assault. It’s also allowed those who don’t understand why women, who are sexually assaulted are often put on trial and revictimized as criminals themselves. Also, why these women suffer in silence to have an honest dialogue with those who’ve been affected.
Check out some of the tweets below:
Can you please help me understand why a responsible, reasonable, intelligent, mature adult who is a tenured professor, magazine editor, author & political commentator wouldn't report?
— Douglass Sloan (@DougSloan) September 27, 2018
You look sincere from your timeline, so let me ask you – have you been reading the many threads that have been written in the past few days by women explaining exactly what happens when they do report? Please follow the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport
— (((Not Your Anominous 🧟♀️ People))) (@NaomiSeu) September 27, 2018
Dr. Ford is a tenured Professor who has published widely. The woman who filed the sworn affidavit yesterday has held high level positions with multiple security clearances. They’re being dragged, they and their families being threatened with violence.
So yeah. No one can report.
— Melanie Lantz (@melmlantz) September 27, 2018
This podcast by the Daily did a good job of explaining how many women feel about this moment. If you are truly curious (& hopefully not just shaming traumatized victims), I hope you’ll listen to it. https://t.co/h2Qky9d9Z4
— Doppelganger (@ProfoundSustain) September 27, 2018