After more than 20 years, one of the women accusing Bill Cosby of rape is getting a serious platform to tell her story.
Barbara Bowman shared her ordeal with the comic legend in an article she wrote for the Washington Post. In the story, Bowman shared not only how Cosby took advantage of her by drugging and sexually assaulting her, but also how her cries for justice went unanswered.
“Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, he brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times. In one case, I blacked out after having dinner and one glass of wine… When I came to, I was in my panties and a man’s t-shirt, and Cosby was looming over me,” Bowman detailed. “I’m certain that he drugged and raped me. The final incident was in Atlantic City, where we had traveled for industry event. I was staying in a separate bedroom of Cosby’s hotel suite, but he pinned me down in his own bed while I screamed for help. I’ll never forget the clinking of his belt buckle as he struggled to pull his pants off. I furiously tried to wrestle from his grasp until he eventually gave up, angrily called me ‘a baby’ and sent me home to Denver.”
Despite telling her agent and lawyer about the episodes, Bowman received no help. Feeling powerless that no one would come to her aid, Bowman did not go the police. Instead, she went to friends, who were also powerless before eventually bringing her story to the media.
Nevertheless, after 10 years of telling her side of the story, the result was no backlash against Cosby nor a national public outcry.
Now, years later, the issue resurfaced, courtesy of comedian Hannibal Buress, who brought up the rape accusations against Cosby during a performance. From there, the spark was lit as a flood of reaction resulted on social media and news outlets. Cosby’s team reached out
on Twitter for support, but the effort backfired as the Internet was overtaken with Bill Cosby “memes” prominently featuring rape allegations.
Although she is grateful for the backlash against Cosby, Bowman wonders why it took so long for the public to finally wake up and take notice of her plight and those of other women who were assaulted by Cosby now rather than all the other time since they began telling
their stories. In addition, she also called for accountability for agents, aides, and everyone else who stood by and either helped Cosby commit the rapes or did nothing to stop them.
“Only after a man, Hannibal Buress, called Bill Cosby a rapist in a comedy act last month did the public outcry begin in earnest….,” Bowman wrote. “While I am grateful for the new attention to Cosby’s crimes, I must ask my own questions: Why wasn’t I believed? Why didn’t I get the same reaction of shock and revulsion when I originally reported it? Why was I, a victim of sexual assault, further wronged by victim blaming when I came forward? The women victimized by Bill Cosby have been talking about his crimes for more than a decade. Why
didn’t our stories go viral?”