Trump Supporters Mock Sexual Assault Survivors With #HillaryGropedMe

October 16th 2016

Aron Macarow

A chorus of women has come forward to accuse GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump of sexual assault or other inappropriate behavior. And now one Trump supporter has reacted in a satirical video with a fictional story of sexual assault by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The video and associated hashtag — #HillaryGropedMe — has now gone viral, and they highlight exactly what's wrong with rape culture in America.

Conservative journalist Prissy Holly posted the video, which details a faux story of sexual assault by the former Secretary of State.

"And I was face to face with this stocky woman in a pantsuit with these great, big shoulder pads, ... and the next thing I knew, she completely forced herself on me," Holly said in the video. "She put her hands up my skirt and just began groping me with her old lady talons."

Holly then asked others to share their stories using #HillaryGropedMe.

And share they did.

Trump supporters took the bait, taking over Twitter Sunday morning with the hashtag, which they used to mock victims of sexual assault.

Many attacked the Republican presidential candidate's accusers by suggesting that they had no proof, were not believable, or had taken too long to come forward.

Other Trump supporters simply poked fun at rape in general.

Not everyone thought it was funny.

Twitter users came to the defense of victims of sexual assault, and their responses highlight one of the biggest issues with sexual assault reporting: Sexual assault survivors frequently don't report sexual assault because of how they are treated when they do.

It's believed that someone is sexually assaulted every 109 seconds in the United States, but only 15.8 to 35 percent of sexual assaults are reported to the police.

The reason for the lack of reporting is complex, former Vermont police officer Tom Tremblay explained recently to Vox:

"We know from research and our own experience that sexual assault and rape are the most underreported crimes. And part of the reason they’re underreported is that victims are concerned about whether they’re going to be believed or not. That prevents a lot of folks from coming forward, as well as the trauma of the experience.

"So we see this delayed reporting in many instances, because victims are so traumatized. For one, it’s hard for them to believe that this happened to them. Two, they don’t want to acknowledge that they’ve in fact been a victim. It’s often someone the victim knows and trusts.

"The most common thing you hear, and the most common thing you see in the research, is that victims don’t think they’re going to be believed or supported."

Trump is playing into these myths around sexual assault.

The Republican presidential candidate himself is leaning on the wrongheaded notion that survivors of sexual assault will come forward immediately if they truly are victims.

People writer Natasha Stoynoff recently wrote that the real estate mogul kissed her without her consent at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, where she had come to interview Trump and his wife, Melania, in December 2005. Trump responded via Twitter, calling into question why Stoynoff had waited so long to speak out and suggesting that it meant that the story was fabricated:

ATTN: has reached out to Trump's campaign for comment, and we will update this story when we receive a response.