Today’s must-read comes from the Washington Post where a woman who says she was raped — twice — by Bill Cosby asks important questions that she’s had for 30 years: Why didn’t anyone believe her?
Barbara Bowman was an aspiring actress when she was mentored by “America’s Dad.”
Back then, the incident was so horrifying that I had trouble admitting it to myself, let alone to others. But I first told my agent, who did nothing. (Cosby sometimes came to her office to interview people for “The Cosby Show” and other acting jobs.)
A girlfriend took me to a lawyer, but he accused me of making the story up. Their dismissive responses crushed any hope I had of getting help; I was convinced no one would listen to me.
That feeling of futility is what ultimately kept me from going to the police. I told friends what had happened, and although they sympathized with me, they were just as helpless to do anything about it. I was a teenager from Denver acting in McDonald’s commercials. He was Bill Cosby: consummate American dad Cliff Huxtable and the Jell-O spokesman.
Eventually, I had to move on with my life and my career.
For the last 10 years, she’s been telling her story. A few bloggers and the occasional local TV station repeated it, but it never took hold.
Not until a man made the allegation did it gain traction.
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?
She says she has nothing to gain by talking and writing about Cosby and his entourage who covered for his alleged rapes. And the statute of limitations has run out on her opportunity to do anything about them.