“I just crossed my fingers that justice would be served. I was mentally fatigued,” Dickinson wrote in an essay for Variety published Tuesday.
Dickinson, who accused Cosby in 2014 of drugging and raping her in 1982, was in attendance for the comedian’s sentence hearing last week at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The model and author was joined by other Cosby accusers, including some of the women who testified during the April sexual assault trial to offer evidence of Cosby’s prior bad acts.
Immediately after Cosby was sentenced, Dickinson threw her head back and laughed loudly in court. “See, I got the last laugh, pal,” she said while staring straight at the disgraced comedian.
Dickinson reflected on the powerful moment in her essay for Variety.
“I let out an explosive emotional laugh. While other victims wept, I laughed and said, ‘Who’s laughing now?’” she wrote. “ ... The justice system had done its job. That’s a relief, and I felt better, but it does not undo the damage.”
Dickinson discussed just how hard it is to report your sexual assault story, pointing to last week’s Senate confirmation hearings where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.
“Why do we not report immediately? Men have no idea of the toll an assault takes. I, we, get afraid, feel so emotional that it can be hard to think, even though the attack is etched in our brain,” Dickinson wrote (although it’s worth pointing out that men, and people of all genders, can be victims of sexual violence).
“Take a look at the Senate hearings. Years ago and surprisingly, even now, victims are intimidated,” she continued. “Intimidated because we know we will be shamed and called a liar or a slut, that we will get hate mail and threats, that telling a new boyfriend will probably end that relationship, that our children and family will look at us differently, and maybe they won’t love us, and that we will be labeled.”
Dickinson wrote that people should “never get a pass” for assault or rape, adding that the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases sends a message that survivors’ stories are “questionable.”
“A ‘pass’ signals to our daughters and sons that this country really doesn’t care about women,” she continued, “and that only men can ultimately be trusted to tell the truth.”
Head over to Variety to read Dickinson’s full essay.