Reporting Sexual Assault: Everything You Need to Know
It’s an extremely sensitive and personal decision whether or not to report sexual assault. Attaching your name to a case of this severity can be a lengthy process and huge commitment. A commitment, sadly, where our current society is quick to place blame on the victim. However, in order to evoke change within our culture, I encourage everyone to speak up. It takes guts to admit that you’ve been sexually abused, but now you don’t have to do it by risking your reputation. You can be just as brave by reporting it anonymously as long as you do something.
Overcoming Common Concerns
It’s a very dark and confusing time following sexual assault. More often than not, you’re left with more questions than answers: Why did this happen to me? Am I partially at fault? What do I do now? Then even if you decide to take action, the process of reporting isn’t always straightforward. So therefore, more questions cloud your better judgment: Should I call a hotline? Do I involve the police, or contact a lawyer? The list goes on and on… But the big concern nowadays is: Will I even be taken seriously?
It’s no wonder why three out of four sexual assaults go unreported in the U.S. There’s no denying that once your name is out there, your reputation is on the chopping block, and people can be vicious. You’ve heard it all before: She shouldn’t have worn that. She shouldn’t have drank so much. Or my favorite… She was asking for it. These statements are ignorant and quite honestly, far from the truth. Even reputable, licensed professionals can have their integrity put into question. Take Christine Blasey Ford for example.
Time’s are changing now, and in order to validate our pleas for justice, everyone’s voice needs to be heard. I ask not that you become the “face of sexual assault” but simply to take action. You no longer have to go through the hassle of using your name if you don’t want to. You can anonymously report such instances within a trusted environment, where you won’t be judged. If you do nothing, then how will we ever know what’s really going on in communities?
An Easier Way to Report Sexual Assault
Again, I want to be clear. Whether you report sexual misconduct is completely on you, and at Tribe, we respect your decision. If you want to associate yourself with your story, then we 100% support and applaud your confidence. But we know that’s not everyone’s top choice. If you’d prefer to keep your identity separate, yet still make your community aware, then lean in… There’s an app for that.
It’s best to record the event while it’s fresh in your mind. Waiting around may obstruct your memory, and the longer you keep from sharing, the more likely you are to not report it at all. The reality is that if you’ve been sexually violated in any way, then what happened to you needs to be known. I guarantee your story isn’t the only one.
By using your voice, you can make sure what happened to you doesn’t happen to your friend, sister, coworker, love interest, etc. Let’s look out for not only ourselves but for one another. And let the leaders in our communities know – the business owners, the school administers, the state representatives… all of them! Therefore, they can make informed decisions and take appropriate actions to improve the safety of our communities.
Change is Here
There’s nothing dishonorable about hiding your face when it comes to sexual harassment, because it’s your choice. With the Tribe app, the reporting process is easy and can be completed before your favorite pop song is over on Spotify. By simply filing an anonymous report, you’ve done something though. You’ve done a service to yourself, to your community, and to your tribe. Together, we can hold establishments to a higher standard and make safety a priority.
When you make a report in Tribe, it will be taken seriously. Just as seriously as we take your confidentiality. So once you’ve completed that step, you can take the time you need to figure out what your next moves are, whether it’s seeking out a support group or simply surrounding yourself with loved ones. But not reporting sexual assault needs to be a thing of the past, one voice at a time, anonymous or not. Just do something.