Testimony in a sexual assault case – which relies on a survivor’s willingness to provide it – has the power to make an unknown and often serious incident visible. Without the victim’s story, it can remain a secret, hidden forever.
Sexual assaults rarely have witnesses outside of the victim and the offender; in the Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford case, an external witness resisted participating and then was not even called to appear.
To the public, it can seem the answer to ending sexual assault is to simply encourage victims to come forward and help them understand how to do so. But few sexual assaults are ever reported – much less go to trial.