These tweets show why people don't report sexual assaults

Updated 1:51 PM ET, Fri September 21, 2018

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(CNN)There's no standard way survivors talk about sexual assault. It isn't always a police phone call and a rape kit; sometimes it's years of silence. Sometimes it trickles out, little by little, and then all at once; like a dam that swells and breaks and floods.

Part of it is fear: Will I be believed, these women and men think. Part of it is doubt, sown by social mores that seem eager to excuse the inexcusable: Was it something I should just accept?
When they do talk, sometimes years later, a question reflexively arises. It's a question that was posed, more or less, by the President of the United States, to a woman who alleges a current Supreme Court nominee held her down at a high school party and tried to assault her: Why didn't you speak up earlier?
In response, people on Twitter have been sharing their reasons for not speaking up about their own assaults.