Know Their Name: Brooke Nevils

TW: Sexual Assault

Significant strides have been made in standing up and speaking out about sexual assault the past few years. With efforts such as the #MeToo movement rising in such popularity through helpful outlets, like social media, awareness about the topic has become more prevalent. However, it is still not anywhere close to easy for victims to speak out about it. 

Among the many notable accounts about misconduct were the sexual assault allegations against Matt Lauer. In 2017 Lauer was fired from his Today Show job due to rape allegations made against him by an employee for NBC. For a long period of time, the victim remained anonymous. However, with the publication of Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, she is revealing herself and her story for the first time. Her name is Brooke Nevils. She reveals that she was assaulted by Lauer at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in a hotel room while they were there covering the games. Matt Lauer is a well-known name in America, making him very influential. Nevils understood that he could easily tarnish her name, harming her career. This is why there were a few years between the incident and her reaching out about it. According to NBC, he claimed that their relationship was “completely consensual”, but the description in Farrow’s book significantly refutes that.

A heartbreaking consequence of being brave enough to share your story are the nonbelievers. Nevils had the courage to be vulnerable and risk her career to pursue justice not only for herself, but for other victims who are assaulted each day. The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)  has reposrted that every 73 seconds an American is sexually assulted. That statistic is terrifying. It is difficult to understand why people still express hatred and refuse to believe survivors of assault with a hard-hitting fact of this kind. Victims like Brooke Nevils need to be listened to. Time and time again we have been failed by authorities when it comes to this topic. If this were not true, then this discussion would not have to be so relevant, and the numbers in those statistics would not be so high. Nevils is inspiring for her fortitude during this time, and can be seen as a source of solace for those with similar experiences. The threat of sexual violence is real. It is a reality that each person has to deal with each and every day. It should no longer be a taboo topic. It is legitimate, relevant, and has to be stopped. Thankfully, people like Brooke Nevils realize what their impact could be through telling their story. Hopefully, as a nation we can begin to believe these survivors instead of refusing to even listen to them.