Abigail Breslin came out earlier this Sexual Assault Awareness Month and shared that she had been raped by a male in her acquaintance as a teen. She offered nothing beyond the mere mention, noting that she had never told anybody. Nor clearly ever allowed the boy’s side of the story to be aired. There’s a lot of power in unsupported allegations. Ask any Amy Schumer or Lena Dunham memoir.
There was some blowback to Breslin’s rape story drop. Not to suggest Breslin was lying. Who could possibly know? But to suggest that announcing you’re the victim of a past crime with zero evidence presented comes off as kind of sticking it to the blind Lady Justice.
Breslin came back with Instagram round two as a followup. She posted a chart purportedly depicting the poor statistical rate of rapists going to prison versus number of cases that are reported. Breslin highlighted a quote from somebody who wrote, “Reported rapes are the only rapes that count.” Journalists covering the story immediately agreed that the comment was patently offensive. None mentioned that it’s technically true. How could anything unreported be counted? It’s like the Sphinx jumped into criminology riddling.
Breslin used the selected quote to lead into an extensive defense of the reasons why she chose not to report her date rape:
First off, I was in complete shock and denial. I didn’t want to view myself as a ‘victim’ so I suppressed it and pretended it never happened. Second of all, I was in a relationship with my rapist and feared not being believed. I also feared that if my case didn’t lead anywhere, he would still find out and hurt even more. Thirdly, I knew how hurt my family and friends would be after finding out and I didn’t want to put them thru that.”
All valid reasons. To what end? At what point when you decide not to report and lawfully prosecute a crime are you no longer allowed to publicly reference it as if it were settled fact? You look at the history of unsupported accusations and they have tended to be used against the disadvantaged, not the other way around. There’s a guy out there you claim raped you. He’s almost certainly done it again. Nobody dabbles in rape.
He’s not your personal responsibility. But he’s also not your me-too game token. You didn’t report it then. You’re not elaborating now. Name names and let there be a response or shut it down. There are more personal venues available for matters you wish to keep personal. Somewhere down the line you’ll realize you’re only hampering the people that chose the tougher path.
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