Singer Melissa Schuman has officially filed charges against Nick Carter for sexual assault

In 2018, new allegations of sexual assault and harassment against public figures emerge almost daily. In effect, an increasing number of powerful men are being held accountable for their actions, which provides a beacon of hope to those who have been silenced in the past.

Among the most recent examples: Singer Melissa Schuman, who came forward this past November with rape allegations against Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, is officially taking legal action against the singer.

“I’m finally doing what I thought I could no longer do,” Schuman tweeted yesterday. “I’m filing a police report #timesup #bebrave #bethechange #metoo thank you @RAINN for empowering me to take this step.”

Schuman shared a vulnerable blog post months ago alleging that Carter raped her during a day off from filming The Hollow, and ignored her protests that she didn’t want to go further than kissing.

"He was relentless," she wrote, "refusing to take my nos for an answer. He was heavy, too heavy to get out from under him."

Carter, for his part, has denied the accusations.

“I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations,” Carter said in a statement on November 22nd. “Melissa never expressed to me any time while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally.”

And, as perhaps expected, some have already come forward via Twitter to discredit Schuman’s decision to press charges, accusing her of merely wanting attention. But Schuman is not here for the victim-blaming and hate speech.

"All he had to do is claim it's consensual and that's enough for some people," she wrote in a December 19th blog post on her site.  "Is it so impossible to believe that I never wanted to do anything sexually with him because so many women do?"

Speaking out about sexual assault is no easy feat, and we applaud Schuman for her strength and bravery. We’ll be watching to see how this story unfolds.