Survivors of sexual assault say shame, fear of not being believed cause delay in coming forward

News 12 Long Island [Woodbury NY]

November 16, 2021

By News 12 Staff

Those who come forward with accusations of sexual assault often are asked what took them so long to come forward.Whether there is a fear of not being believed or not wanting people knowing something so personal about them, experts say sexual assaults go underreported.

Executive Director of Safe Center Long Island Keith Scott says there was a study done in 2014 that shows 66% of sexual abuse victims never come forward.He says many choose not to come forward for feelings that it would be useless.”It’s cliche but enough is enough,” Scott says. “How many times are we going to have people come forward, share their story, have their story out for the whole world to see and then nothing happens.”Liz Osowiecki says members of a men’s basketball teams raped her in 2014 and she had no intention of coming forward with what happened to her, and she understands why many people who were assaulted don’t.

“There’s so much social stigma, so much shame that comes along with this crime,” Osowiecki says. “The fact that they were part of my social circle. The fact that I felt saying something would affect their lives and so many other people would know such an intimate detail about my life.”

She tells News 12 that she decided to speak up because there were so many rumors swirling about what happened that evening, she just wanted her truth to be known.

Her case is still in court.