Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Harvey Weinstein and now Kevin Spacey.
This is just a small list of people who have been accused of sexual assault several years after the event (allegedly) took place.
There are many reasons for victims to stay silent. Fears they won’t be taken seriously, fears that there own careers and lives could be ruptured by the accusations and sometimes simply because at the time of the assault, they didn’t see it as an issue.
But should there be some sort of limit on how long an alleged victim can stay silent before the law can no longer assist? It is certainly true that times were different decades ago and that what was acceptable then is completely unacceptable now, but with evidence and support for their accusations being potentially hazy due to the timeframe, will these victims who speak up so many years later be taken as seriously as they would had they gone to the press earlier?
Speaking out and reliving the details of assault can be very difficult and often embarrassing for the person alleging, but to the average observer coming out years later indicates publicity seeking and playing the victim.
The definition of rape is often somewhat skewed by the modern world, with non-penetrating sexual acts and even words being deemed “rape” by many. Even if two people are drunk, the female can call it rape and pursue severe consequences against the male. It is a true detraction of those who are victims of brutal non-consensual sex.
It is currently unknown if Anthony Rapp, the actor who accuses Spacey of making “sexual advancements” towards him in the 80s will seek to press charges.