photo credit Sai De Silva via Unsplash.

Why We Don’t Tell

In the light of Surviving I –can’t – type –his – name – here so the internet algorithm will pick this piece up when you Google him, I want to address a question that often surfaces when sexual assault is finally revealed “ Why didn’t they tell it when it happened?” Hopefully, the obvious reasons of fear and shame need not be discussed.

Have you ever heard sexually explicit court testimony? You have to describe body parts, shapes, colors and sizes. Victims have to spell out specific acts: they penetrated my this, licked me there, forced me suck that, etc. Just learning the technical names of parts and acts for the courtroom has to be intimidating. Reliving the moment(s) have to be horrifying. Why is this necessary? Providing detailed testimony allows the accused to be properly defended. The importance of protecting innocent men is as vital as protecting victims.

Even in our very sexually open culture where Cardi B can express losing her gag reflex from lack of, and women of all statuses took the “For the D” challenge what you share in a willing context is very different from sharing a violation of your physical being. A courtroom is full of strangers, your family, friends, and the accused. Many victims have described the court proceeding as being raped all over again.

There are other issues and unspoken nuances that keep victims silent. Here are just a few reason Why We Don’t Tell.

Why We Don’t Tell

We don’t tell because I did go out on a date with him
We don’t tell because his sister is my best friend

We don’t tell because he’s my father’s favorite cousin
We don’t tell because it only happened once

We don’t tell because he’s gonna marry momma
We don’t tell because he married momma

and I can get through this, right?

We don’t tell because I dress feminine and you think I’m a slut
We don’t tell because I don’t dress feminine and you think I’m gay

We don’t tell because his wife is hot and I’m not
We don’t tell because of the way his wife looks at me when he’s looking at me

We don’t tell because I’m the only single one in the group
We don’t tell because I’m married

and I can get through this, right?
I’m strong, right?

We don’t tell because I’m young and scared
We don’t tell because I’m older and still scared

We don’t tell because y’all call me Ms. Ghetto Bad and Boujee
We don’t tell because y’all call me Ms. Think She Better Than Everybody

We don’t tell because men always saying they don’t like no broomstick
We don’t tell because I’m fat.

and I can get through this, right?
I’m strong, right?
I’m gonna be ok, right?

We don’t tell because he’s all the students’ favorite, cool, coach
We don’t tell because he’s the good, reverend, pastor

We don’t tell because you didn’t believe her
We don’t tell because she told and look at her now

We don’t tell because he moved away
We don’ tell because I’m just going to move away

and I can get through this, right?
I’m strong, right?
I’m gonna be ok, right?
and time heals all wounds, right?

We don’t tell because I don’t want to get you involved in this
and I can get through this, right?

We don’t tell because I don’t want to send nobody to jail
I’m strong, right?

We don’t tell because it happened to you and you didn’t tell
I’m gonna be ok, right?

We don’t tell because that one time I tried, you changed the subject
and time heals all wounds, right?

We don’t tell because that one time I tried, I changed the subject

What time is it?

Timogi Jackson is an author, speaker, educator and preacher from Brooklyn who is both a lady and a woman!