There’s still no verdict in the Bill Cosby sex assault trial after the first full day of deliberations. But, no matter the outcome, the case may encourage survivors of sex abuse to seek help.
“I think it’s going to be really hard to get a verdict here,” said KHOU legal analyst Gerald Treece.
He says there’s a high probability of a hung jury given what’s been presented in court and the back story between Cosby and his accuser in this case, Andrea Constand.
“The thing that keeps coming back is if these women were really so wronged, why did they continue their relationships with him, and that’s her problem,” said Treece.
“I hope it ends in a way that society and survivors feel supported,” said Aly Jacobs with the Houston Area Women’s Center.
Jacobs isn’t interested in speculating about how the Cosby case may end. She is concerned about the indirect impact it may have.
“And when there’s high profile cases, we do have a lot of survivors who are either triggered by the experience or feel now is the time to start talking about some of the abuse they experienced,” said Jacobs.
She says it can take years, if not decades, for some survivors to feel comfortable enough to begin a dialogue long after the possibility of criminal charges have passed.
“They can still find a different form of justice, and that may be just having a voice and having their stories heard,” said Jacobs.
Houston Area Women’s Center
Domestic Violence/Information and Referral Hotline: 713-528-2121
Sexual Assault Hotline: 713-528-RAPE