Why do women wait to report sexual abuse?

(Cleveland) - In light of the Bret Kavanaugh, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose cases and others, many are wondering why so many women wait years, even decades to report sexual assaults. 

Domestic abuse expert Victoria Grant says the primary reason is fear. Fear of retaliation, and fear that nothing will happen to the perpetrator.  

Grant is a justice system advocate for Euclid Municipal Court. She tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, that victims are concerned about the intimate details of the incident being revealed to friends, co-workers, and family members via public documents. There's also the possibility of long and drawn out court proceedings, the likelihood of reprisals, and the loss of job and career opportunities. 

However, Grant contends it's always best to quickly report domestic abuse, sexual assaults, and sexual harassment immediately, because the passage of time makes these cases more difficult to prosecute. 

She says help, counseling, and assistance is available 24/7 at Cleveland's Domestic Violence Child Advocacy Center. Their hotline number is 216-391-HELP.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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