Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump purports to know how women should react when they are attacked sexually.
They should go straight to the cops, file charges and then wait for justice to be done, he said in so many words in a Twitter message.
Sure thing, Mr. President. Except that’s not how too few of these cases play out.
The president is defending his U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh against charges brought by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh attacked her 30-plus years when they were teenagers. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of trying to tear her clothes off of her. Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred. They’re both going to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a few days.
But back to Trump’s statement.
As the Los Angeles Times has reported:
Trying to discredit her story, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he had “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.”
But according to decades of social science, surveys of sexual assault victims and crime reporting data from federal government agencies, there is a lot of room for doubt.
Women have been fearful of recrimination, which is one reason many of them decline to report sexual assaults to the police.
More from the LA Times:
According to the Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, 310 out of 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to authorities. Two out of 3 go unreported. The numbers were culled from data collected from 2010 to 2014 and include assaults against men.
Data from the Department of Justice also show that 20 percent of survivors do not report their assaults out of fear of retaliation, while 13 percent do not report because they think police will not be helpful, 13 percent believe their experiences are personal matters and 7 percent do not want to get perpetrators in trouble. Those numbers were collected from 2005 to 2010.
I am one American who is waiting to hear from both of these individuals before I make up my mind. I wish partisans on either side would do the same. To be candid, I am inclined to want to give Professor Ford the benefit of the doubt. However, I am reserving any judgment until I get to watch her and Judge Kavanaugh make their respective cases.
As for there being “no doubt” a teenage girl would have called the cops and filed charges when an attack allegedly occurred, the president needs to do yet another reality check before he pops off.