Power Dynamics Can Cause Delays In Sex Crime Reports

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The fact that it took some women decades to report Donald Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct doesn’t surprise Tom Tremblay, reports Vox. Tremblay has spent decades advocating for the prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence, first as a police officer in Vermont and now as a consultant. His work focuses on how to improve law enforcement practices to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to come forward and report crimes.

“Victims may wait days, weeks, months, years, decades,” he says. “When one victim comes forward, it’s not at all uncommon to see other victims come forward, who are thinking, ‘Well, they came forward; now it’s not just my word.’ And then we see the next victim says the same thing.” Victims wait to report assault, Tremblay says, because of the power dynamics often at play in these crimes. “Oftentimes [power and control are] purposefully leveraged during the assault and afterward, with things like, ‘Nobody is going to believe you, I’m an important person in the community,’” he says. Tremblay tells Vox what law enforcement could do to better assist victims, and how the language the media uses can often disadvantage victims.

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