Why Women Don't Report: It Even Happened to Ashanti

March 17th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Ashanti’s convicted stalker questioned her about her private parts and lap dances in front of a judge and a courtroom of people on Wednesday, according to TMZ.

Devar Hurd, who was first convicted in 2009 for stalking the 35-year-old singer, was back in court and acting as his own attorney. As his own attorney, Hurd once again questioned the singer on the stand — for the third time.

Hurd read his own Tweets directly to Ashanti, including some referencing her body parts.

“Eating p**** from the back tastes better from a flight to Russia,” he said.

He also asked her about her stage performances.

“You do lap dances for your performances, correct?” he said. “I don’t have a problem with it, I’m just saying.”

There were many other X-rated comments and the Twitter Universe couldn’t believe this was real life.

Ashanti made it clear that she was never interested in Hurd’s dirty Tweets.

“You continuously tweeted over and over again disgusting, derogatory, disrespectful things to me after you had already gone to jail for doing the same thing,” she said in court, according to the New York Daily News.

Devar Hurd

Hurd also sent explicit tweets to Ashanti’s mother and took a picture with the singer’s sister after he was banned from contact with Ashanti by a court order of protection. The sister did not know what Hurd looked like at the time. He went to jail in 2009 for stalking the singer and was brought to trial in 2014, but there was a mistrial, according to the Daily Mail. If Hurd is convicted this time, he could go to jail for four years.

The humiliation of this type of court incident is one of the reasons women avoid reporting sexual assault and stalking in the first place.

Twitter is filled with users who can relate:

Ashanti’s stalker did not physically assault her, but violence and stalking can be related. Michelle Garcia, director of the Stalking Resource Center, told HuffPost Live that women should take stalking very seriously.

“Every situation is going to be different but we have to recognize that stalking is frequently a behavior that escalates into other forms of violence,” she said. “Many victims will experience physical and sexual assault by that offender, and it does frequently have a high rate of lethality."

The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault lists a fear of others knowing about their experience and a “fear of the justice system,” as reasons women avoid reporting sexual assault to police.

About 68 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, according to The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, although statistics can vary.

The Stalking Resource Center says that an estimated 7.5 million people are stalked in the U.S. every year.

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