CNN’s Don Lemon launched a highly personal defense of sexual assault survivors on Monday night, including those who don’t come forward and report their attackers.
“Why is it so hard to talk about? Well, part of it is fear and part of it is doubt,” said Lemon, a survivor of sexual assault who remained silent for years. “Will I be believed? Will I be blamed? Will I have evidence? Do I have to relive what happened? Will everyone judge me? And if I speak out, will it even matter?”
Lemon’s comments came amid attacks on Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 but did not come forward until now.
Lemon grew emotional as he recounted his own experience, and had tears in his eyes as he spoke of a family member who came forward to him only last week.
“I’ve been thinking about why she told me this and about why she didn’t tell me sooner,” Lemon said. “And I’ve been thinking about why these women are coming forward to tell the whole country what they say happened, knowing that they will be judged.”
See his full monologue in the clip above.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.