Norma Stanley’s letter defending former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s history of sexual harassment was published in these pages on May 18. My response was printed on May 24.

In a letter published Wednesday, Ms. Stanley wrote that she doubts the claims of accusers because they don’t report sexual harassers immediately.

Here’s a recent example of why accusers don’t readily come forward:

In the case of Leigh Corfman, she was a 14-year-old girl and Roy Moore was a 32-year-old man and an assistant district attorney, The Washington Post reported Nov. 9. Mr. Moore plainly held the upper hand in the situation.

Subsequently, Ms. Corfman also didn’t want to see her family dragged through the muck. She did not come forward – the Post called her after hearing rumors of Mr. Moore’s predilection for young women while covering his U.S. Senate campaign. The same is true of the three other women in the story. I ask Ms. Stanley to read it for herself.

The predator has power over the victim. This is often the case. That’s how they get away with it.

Women are afraid of coming forward, often for good reason. There are bosses who will threaten their jobs. There are many (police included) who disbelieve the women. The accuser is victimized twice – once by the initial assault and then by a system that calls them liars. These are some of the powerful forces at work to discourage victims from coming forward.

There seems to be a sea change, and women are now being believed. Let’s hope it continues.

George Dragoumanos

Saco