One Year Since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony: Where are We Now?

One year ago, the world watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford stand up in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to recount her sexual assault at the hands of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  She captivated viewers with her poise and courage as she answered difficult and demeaning questions about the traumatic incident, which happened so many years ago. She did not scream, weep or become hysterical, as her enemies had hoped. Her calm demeanor as she told her unwavering truth sent chills down the spines of all who witnessed it, but it had a special effect on one group of individuals: survivors. During the hearing, calls to the National Sexual Assault hotline increased by over 200 percent. Dr. Ford’s name became a rallying cry for survivors across the world. Thousands of protestors stood both in and outside of the capitol to support her. For many, she became another symbol in the ever-growing Me Too movement. Sadly for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, survivors of sexual assault, American women and the whole United States, the Senate Judiciary Committee ignored Dr. Ford’s testimony and Brett Kavanagh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

This was just another example of a fundamental flaw in our society’s framework: our refusal to believe victims of sexual violence. Sex crimes are the only crimes where victims have to prove that they didn’t want it. No one is ever asked to prove that they didn’t want their car stolen or that they didn’t want to be kidnaped, but over and over again women are asked to prove that they didn’t want to be sexually assaulted. Every time a victim is asked what she was wearing or how much she had to drink, another victim decides not to report and at the end of the day, the only winner is the attacker.

Aside from the age of the crime, Dr. Ford really was the perfect person to give this testimony. I personally believe that if a victim’s story adds up they should be believed no matter what their background, but we all know that in reality, clean-cut victims have the best chance. Dr. Ford was raised in a wealthy republican household by two loving parents. She received an expensive private education, went on to college, got her masters from Stanford and her Ph.D. in Psychology from USC. She is now married with two children and currently teaches at Stanford medical school. She was also not his only accuser. She had nothing to gain and everything to lose by sharing her trauma with the world, but she felt a moral obligation to show the true character of a man who could be confirmed to the highest court in the land. 

Still, Dr. Ford, like so many women before her, was not believed. She was mocked by President Trump for her inability to remember every detail of an event that happened 36 years ago. That’s right folks: Trump. The same man who forgot that you can’t look directly into a solar eclipse or that you can’t ask Ukraine to interfere with U.S. elections.

I wish I could say that we are in a better place than we were a year ago but sadly we are not. Brett Kavanagh is still on the Supreme Court and his victims continue to come forward. The FBI still refuses to do a proper investigation and justice still evades his victims. Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Too many of these crimes go unreported and unpunished because of our refusal to believe victims. If there is any hope of us living in a world that is safe for women and girls we must start listening to them and believing them before it is too late.

Follow HCND on Twitter, like us on Facebook, Pin with us and show our Instagram some love!

Photos: 1,2,3,4