By Tom Tillison
Holly Fussell is still talking about being raped.
Oddly, she noted this week on Twitter the reason she continues to talk about being raped by a coworker while working for Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson is to make others “so uncomfortable that they’ll do something about it.”
This is odd because there is so much more Fussell herself can do, starting with reporting the crime to the police. Until she does so, the alleged rapist remains free to prey on unsuspecting women.
Fussell told Florida Politics in August that she intends to file criminal charges or a civil lawsuit — or both — against the man, but she has yet to do so.
But she has tiptoed around naming the alleged assailant. Back in August, Fussell noted in a Facebook post that he contributed “over a dozen times” to Susannah Randolph’s failed congressional campaign.
And she’s still dropping hints about the alleged rapist, but continues to stop short of naming him.
Fussell caused quite a stir when she first spoke publicly about being raped as part of an effort to denounce Randolph, the self-appointed “true fighter for women’s rights” who served as Grayson’s district director and was running to replace her former boss in Florida’s Congressional District 9.
“Susannah Randolph is no friend to women,” Fussell declared, asking readers to “consider my story before voting.”
According to Fussell, she repeatedly told Randolph about sexual harassment from a coworker and even said Randolph witnessed one such incident — Fussell said the man would go on to rape her.
“I don’t blame Susannah for my sexual assault — not in the slightest. That is the sole fault of the rapist himself,” she wrote. “But I remain deeply disturbed that she ignored my very serious complaints for so long.”
Fussell also continues to call attention to the flak she is taking for going public with her story, as seen in a tweet she posted Thursday.
— Holly Fussell (@redhairbluevote) October 6, 2016
In a follow up a few days after her original Facebook post, Fussell wrote about the intense criticism she experienced from fellow “progressives.”
“I expected sharing my story would be bad. I expected people to be cruel,” she said. “But I never expected it to be anywhere near what it has been, and I just don’t think I can handle it anymore.”
Realistically speaking, can Fussell expect anything less when she’s not fully committed to seeing through what she says happened to her? To insist she was raped means a predator is on the lose. A predator who can take advantage of other young, impressionable women who have taken an interest in politics.
And just what is it that Fussell wants “others” to do, name her assailant and spare her from having to report the crime? To get her due without legal obligation? There is no halfway when publicly crying rape and she owes it to herself and to other young women to do the right thing… or cease from making the claim. Until she does one or the other, Fussell can be sure she’ll continue to face criticism.