Justice

Bill Cosby's Next Move Is Every Survivor's Worst Nightmare

Bill Cosby, a TV icon accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 women, is planning to lead a series of town hall meetings to educate young people on sexual assault—and how to avoid sexual assault charges. Two of his publicists, Andrew Wyatt and Ebonee Benson, announced the move Wednesday on "Good Morning Alabama," just days after a judge declared a mistrial in a sexual assault case brought against Cosby in Pennsylvania. 

The town halls could start as early as July.

"This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today," Wyatt reportedly said. "And they need to know what they're facing—when they're hanging out and partying, when they're doing certain things they shouldn't be doing."

Although the agenda for the town halls has not been released, Benson said they will cover the legal definition of sexual assault.

"Laws are changing, laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended," she reportedly said. "That's why people need to be educated—you know, a brush across the shoulder, at this point, can be considered sexual assault and it's a good thing to be educated about the law."

The town halls will be aimed at college athletes and married men

People on Twitter had strong reactions to the proposed town halls. 

These town halls are a nightmare for sexual assault survivors. 

It took dozens of accusations before people started to believe women were assaulted by Cosby, who played Cliff Huxtable on NBC's The Cosby Show. Then, because of the statute of limitations on sexual assaults and the loss of evidence in alleged assault cases dating back decades, Cosby was only charged with indecent assault in Pennsylvania. After six days of deliberation on whether Cosby had drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004, jurors delivered a mistrial. Now Cosby apparently wants to use his freedom to publicly instruct men on how to avoid sexual assault allegations.

For a sexual assault survivor watching this story unfold, justice could seem elusive or even impossible. Statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network show that the vast majority of rapists never serve any prison time. 

"The Vast Majority of Perpetrators Will Not Go to Jail or Prison."

Out of 1,000 rapes, only 310 are reported to the police, often because survivors fear that no one will believe them; only 57 of those reports will even result in an arrest. 

An August 2016 report from the Department of Justice found that officers in the Baltimore Police Department blamed victims and insinuated they were lying by asking questions like, "Why are you messing up that guy's life?" The department only made arrests in 17 percent of rape cases, which was half the national average, according to the Huffington Post. 

RAINN says that out of 1,000 rapes only 7 will result in a conviction. This is a miscarriage of justice, particularly since research shows most rapists are repeat offenders.

Only between 2 and 10 percent of reported rapes are found to be false, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

RELATED: Bill Cosby's Accusers Just Gave a Chilling Interview