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Sex + Relationships

Presidents Who Were Accused of S*xal & Physical Violence

*Potential Trigger Warning*

Please read the following article with care.


Almost every president throughout history has been a rich, sexually abusive, white male. Most of them were also slave owners. Regardless of what evidence is presented, it seems that part of the general public likes to disregard these issues and decides that they are not deal-breakers. However, there are those of us out there that say these things are deal-breakers, and we will not go silently.  

This is a summary of some sexual accusations & factual assaults surrounding United States presidents. Upon reading about this information, it really makes you wonder how they keep coming to power and why we are supporting a system that constantly marginalizes and hurts women.  


Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President: Served from March 4, 1801 to March 4, 1809 

  • He had ownership over a slave, Sally Hemings, whom historians like to refer to as his mistress.  In actuality, Jefferson would rape her constantly, and she gave birth to six of his children who grew up in slavery. Their relationship is constantly romanticized and desensitizes people to the realities that black folks dealt with and faced every single day of their lives. If Sally had refused him, she most likely would’ve been killed.  

  • Growing up we didn’t hear about this; we were always told how amazing he was. We heard about how he wrote up the Declaration of Independence but as with anything else pushed forward by these presidencies, it seemingly only benefited white males.  

  • Something that should be highlighted here is the black woman. They have been the most marginalized throughout history, and even now.  

Grover Cleveland, 22nd  & 24th President: Served from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889 & March 4, 1893 to March 4, 1897  

  • His story with his wife, Frances Folsom, is very degrading and terrifying to say the least. He had known Frances since she was a baby; her father died when she was 11, and Grover took over her father’s estate, and subsequently took care of her. He bought her fancy things, nice things, and essentially groomed her until he legally married her in 1885, when she was attending Wells College at the age of 21.  

  • He was also accused of sexual assault by Maria Halpin; the attack was said to have been very violent. He threatened to ruin her if she spoke out about what had happened. This assault bore a child, who was born in September 1874. Halpin was then admitted to an asylum for the insane under very strange circumstances, and her son was taken from her.  


Richard Nixon, 37th President: Served from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974 

  • Apparently, he was very “friendly” to women during his presidency including inappropriately touching his secretary’s bare legs after eyeing her while she was wearing a skirt. She reported being petrified and did not consent to the touching. 

  • He also reportedly beat his wife. During one assault, he apparently gave her a black eye.  


Ronald Reagan, 40th President: Served from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989 

  • In her book, Selene Walters, disclosed that Reagan asked for her address during a party in the 1950s; she reported that after giving it to him, he showed up at her home at 3 in the morning. and forced himself on her.  


Donald Trump, 45th President: Served from January 20, 2017 to Present 



If reading this triggered you, please reach out to the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.HOPE. They are available 24/7. There’s also a live chat option at this website and please reach out to those you trust. Sexual assault is a difficult thing to read about and process; you are not alone.  

I'm a business administration major here at Ithaca College and I enjoy writing about things that mean a lot to me!
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