Oliver Contreras and Mandel Ngan/Getty and Twitter
People online have kick-started the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, provoked by Donald Trump’s comments on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Actress Alyssa Milano, who lent her voice to the #MeToo movement, founded by Tarana Burke, has launched a fierce diatribe against the US president using the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport.
In the wake of allegations against Kavanaugh, Trump cast doubt on Ford for not "immediately" reporting the alleged sexual assault to law enforcement.
On Twitter he wrote:
I have no doubt that if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!
Milano responded by sharing her experience of sexual assault – and the fact that it took her many years to reveal it to her parents.
"Hey, @realDonaldTrump," she started. "Listen the f**k 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 [sic].
The actress went on to pen an op-ed against the US president two days later, and she talked about the "courage" of sexual assault survivors.
When I was sexually assaulted, I wasn’t that much older than Christine Blasey Ford — now a PhD in psychology — was when she was allegedly assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred).
I’ve watched, horrified as politicians and pundits refused to believe or take seriously these allegations.
She wrote that Trump’s statement "chilled [her] to the core".
"For me, speaking up meant reliving one of the worst moments of my life," she added.
"It meant recognising my attacker’s existence when I wanted nothing more than to forget that he was allowed to walk on this Earth at all. This is what every survivor goes through. Telling our stories means being vulnerable to public attacks and ridicule when our only 'crime' was to be assaulted in the first place.
To every survivor reading this, know that I am here with you. Know that I see you. I believe you. I am you. And know that we will do whatever we can to stop Brett Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court of our United States.