Thousands of survivors were coming forward on social media Friday with their own accounts of why they didn't report being sexually assaulted in a show of defiance against President Donald Trump and anyone else who would question an accuser's honesty.
Actor-activist Alyssa Milano sparked the hashtag #whyididntreport to become the top trend on Twitter Friday afternoon, sharing her own personal story of being sexually assaulted and encouraging others to do the same after the president questioned Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"Hey, @realDonaldTrump, Listen the f--- 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," actress Alyssa Milano tweeted.
"If any survivor of sexual assault would like to add to this please do so in the replies. #MeToo," Milano wrote, adding the hashtag #WhyIdidntreport in a reply.
The call to arms inspired a deluge of other survivors to contribute their own emotionally devastating accounts of why they din't go to the authorities in the immediate aftermath of their assaults.
Fellow actresses Ashley Judd and Daryl Hannah contributed their own stories:
Earlier in the day, Trump had tried to cast doubt on Ford, who is accusing Kavanaughof holding her down and groping her at party during their high school days — suggesting that if those accusations were true, Ford would have filed a police report at the time.
But thousands of posters rejected that argument, some of them publicly revealing their private pain for the first time. While their reasons for not reporting were varied — fear of public shame, mistrust of authorities, some victimized by members of their own family or a close friend — all were shared in solidarity with Ford.
Kavanaugh has denied Ford's accusations.
The Supreme Court nominee is set to respond during a hearing set for Monday. Ford is still looking for assurances from the Senate Judiciary Committee that "terms that are fair and ensure her safety," before committing to appear.