We Believe You

On September 27, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee against Brett Kavanaugh, the man who allegedly sexually assaulted her. Source

Listening in on the hearing, I could feel the heartbreak in her voice through my laptop screen. I could hear the embarrassment, regret, and fear for her life as she spoke on live television about the man who sexually assaulted her.

“Apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have had to relive my trauma in front of the entire world,” Ford said in her testimony.

While the investigation surrounding the allegations is still underway, one thing is for sure-- we need to believe survivors.

Survivors encounter a lifelong journey of guilt and shame. The baggage of being sexually assaulted reflects in their future relationships and even the way they live their life. An ongoing fear is grounded into the survivor’s mind, leaving them cautious of their surroundings even in situations that are supposed to be “safe.”

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Survivors are affected mentally and physically by the decision their predator made. During the hearing, when Ford gave her testimony, she mentioned a specific part of the sexual assault that left me disgusted and incredibly sympathetic for her. She said she could distinctly remember the sound of Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, laughing. Like many survivors, Ford will carry on this awful memory from the occurrence for her entire life.

If there is any silver-lining to this horrendous situation, it is that there is strength in numbers. For example, the #MeToo movement has brought victims together, and has brought empowerment to a group that once felt shamed and alone. Similarly, after Ford’s testimony, the sexual assault hotline saw it’s busiest day in history. Sexual assault is not something to be ashamed of. It’s something that needs to be identified and spoken out against.

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No kind of sexual assault is excusable. Ford is just one of many who have faced sexual misconduct. Whether it be in the workplace, at school or even in your own home, sexual misconduct cannot be tolerated. Give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves about their experiences. If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, immediately tell a friend, family member or talk to someone anonymously on RAINN, the sexual assault hotline.

We believe you.