Though sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby have been known for years, they are only now recently tarnishing his public image. Now, in a piece for the Washington Post, one of his alleged victims, Barbara Bowman, is asking what took so long.
Over the past two months Hannibal Buress called the veteran comedian a “rapist” in a stand-up set and a social media campaign to “meme” Cosby inspired Twitter users to highlight his alleged crimes. But Bowman, who describes how Cosby allegedly assaulted her multiple times she was an aspiring actress, explains that she has long been speaking about her experiences. She writes:
“While I am grateful for the new attention to Cosby’s crimes, I must ask my own questions: Why wasn’t I believed? Why didn’t I get the same reaction of shock and revulsion when I originally reported it? Why was I, a victim of sexual assault, further wronged by victim blaming when I came forward? The women victimized by Bill Cosby have been talking about his crimes for more than a decade. Why didn’t our stories go viral?”
Bowman casts blame on an industry that protects powerful men like Cosby. “The entertainment world is rife with famous men who use their power to victimize and then silence young women who look up to them,” she writes. “Even when their victims speak out, the industry and the public turn blind eyes; these men’s celebrity, careers, and public adulation continue to thrive.”
Read her full story at the Washington Post.