Bill O’Reilly’s victims are not the ones to blame for the numerous barriers that make stepping forward a risky proposition. Many of O’Reilly’s victims spoke up and were ignored by Fox, or silenced, or were unable to get the legal recourse they might have desired. That’s pretty typical. That’s what the Bill Cosby case is also a testament to. And Woody Allen. And Roman Polanski. And Roger Ailes. Ad nauseam.

I failed to press charges or speak out against the person who raped me, and I’m fairly sure he went on to harm other people. I mourn for those people. I wish I had done more to help them. But I’m not the fucking rapist. I’m not the cops who ignore rape claims or the prosecutors who fail to pursue rape and sexual harassment cases. I’m not the people who taught my rapist that his attitudes toward other people and sex were okay. A victim has a responsibility to take care of themselves and recover from their trauma first and foremost, especially when the odds of pursuing a rape case are so poor.

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