, 25 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Real talk: The moment ONE victim comes forward with a credible allegation that they have been sexually assaulted, an investigation must be opened into what happened. #FairfaxResign #BelieveSurvivors #MeToo
Appropriate measures must taken regarding the alleged perpetrator's behavior, including but not limited to suspension from job duties while the investigation is occurring. #FairfaxResign #BelieveSurvivors
Suspension is not a punitive measure. It is done to protect the public & ensure that the internal investigation doesn't get derailed by the accused who would still have access to files, computers, company cell phone, etc. that could hold evidence. #FairfaxResign #BelieveSurvivors
Society holds the damaging belief that one accuser is not credible - that we need to have multiple accusers go on record in the media before we take the initial sexual assault claim seriously. #BelieveWomen #FairfaxResign
The need for the public to have multiple victims go public is damaging to the initial victim, whose claims are generally ignored or dismissed as fraudulent. This is troubling for many reasons, including the fact that when one person comes forward, it means there are more victims.
The requirement that society feels entitled to have the identities of victims before they are to be believed is harmful. In court cases, the identities of victims are shielded by law to protect them from the shame and embarrassment heaped on them by a world that blames victims.
If a victim steps forward and doesn't use their name, it does not mean they are lying. Yet, for whatever reason, one on the record accuser - who is dragged by the public as a liar or attention seeker, isn't enough to trigger an investigation. #FairfaxResign #BelieveSurvivors
TW: I'm going to share a personal anecdote about my own experience of being the first woman to accuse a well-known perpetrator to illustrate how this paradigm operates to silence victims and protect perpetrators. #BelieveSurvivors #FairfaxResign
In June of 2018, my allegations of being raped and sexually assaulted by two men in the entertainment industry were published by @THR. If you want details on my experience, read the @kimmasters piece here:
In the story, I was the first woman to publicly accuse one of the men of sexual assault. His employer refused to comment nor initiate an investigation into my allegations - in spite of the fact that he was arrested for the attack.
In the time since, multiple women have approached me to share that they too were assaulted by this same man. One has an active police investigation happening right now. If you want to know more about that, read this piece by @ahzimm for @thedailybeast

Back to Fairfax: My accusation was ignored, like @VanessaCTyson. His company hasn't investigated anything, to my knowledge. Their response:

One morning I was having a conversation with a new acquaintance in December, before the @thedailybeast story ran in January. He didn't know about my history:

"When there are multiple sexual assault allegations against a man, I believe it. But one? That's suspicious."
I asked him why he would say that.

He: "Because if there were more women than it's more credible."
Me: "Do you have any idea how hard it is to come forward about a sexual assault? What makes you think other women haven't tried?"
He: silence
Me: "You know, just because victims don't offer themself up to the public to be attacked doesn't mean they don't exist."
He: silence
Me: "For example, I personally have spoken with almost 10 women who say they have been attacked by the same man. It's just not public."
He: silence
Me: "So when you say to me that one person isn't enough, what you're doing is saying that I'm lying, and all other first accusers are questionable simply because we had the courage to come forward knowing that we wouldn't be believed."
He: silence
Me: "Also, it takes one person to come forward to help other survivors come forward. But often the media, especially when it comes to Black women, fail to report our stories unless the perpetrator is a public figure."
He: "Okay..."
I won't bore you with the rest of the conversation, which ended with him conceding that he was going to change his knee jerk response to hearing initial allegations against a perpetrator. #BelieveSurvivors #FairfaxResign
Regarding Fairfax, as soon as I saw Professor Tyson's allegations, I knew there were more victims. I also saw how people were silent about what to do with Fairfax, probably bc they were blindsided by the allegation but also due to the tendency to need more than one to be believed
But please consider this: One allegation is enough. I have worked in the space of gender-violence for over a decade and one fact stands out above all others when it comes to violence: if there is one victim, that means there are more. #BelieveSurvivors #FairfaxResign
Think about the people you know in your own life who have either been victims of gender-violence or perpetrators of it.

Was there just one allegation? If a man is accused of beating a woman, didn't you hear about others?
Point is this: perpetrators of sexual violence against women don't engage in these behaviors once. They are motivated by a deep-seated rage against women and this rage needs an outlet. Hence why they develop patterns of behavior which leads to multiple victims. #BelieveSurvivors
Please reconsider the need for there to be multiple victims willing to go public before the first accuser is believed. This is harmful to ALL victims & protects perpetrators from accountability when others are unwilling to come forward bc they are afraid of not being believed.
Also know this: The media has an unofficial "cap" on the number of victims they are willing to report on in respect to a specific perpetrator. Generally, if you don't speak up right after the first story breaks, your story will never get published.
With that being said, there are a lot of survivors out there who have stayed silent. I stand with you. I understand why you don't feel safe to come forward and pray that you are able to get healing when and if the person who hurt you is held accountable by another victim.
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