The Kavanaugh Decision & Sexual Assault Victims
by Makayla Smith, UAB student, and GirlSpring intern
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and as a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee, of sexual assault. She said that the sexual assault occurred when she was 15 years old, and when he was 17. At the beginning of filing the complaint, Ford concealed her identity, in fear for her life. According to what she told The Washington Post, Ford claimed that “while his friend Mark Judge watched, Kavanaugh, intoxicated, held her down on a bed with his body, grinding against and groping her, covering her mouth when she tried to scream and trying to pull her clothes off. Finding it hard to breathe, she thought Kavanaugh was accidentally (her emphasis) going to kill her.”
While he denied these allegations made by him, attorneys such as Debra Katz, Lisa Blanks, and Michael Bromwich encouraged her to come forward about what had happened. Ricki Seidman, who worked alongside the Anita Hill case, was also brought in to help Ford construct a personal hearing. Ford had also taken a polygraph test issued by a former FBI agent in which it proved that she was truthful about what she had said. Weeks after the case had settled, Congress elected Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Following the testimony of Dr. Ford, two other women stepped up, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.
Regarding the Me Too movement, I would like to say that I stand with Dr. Ford and other sexual assault victims.
When I learned that 1 in 4 women experience assault, I was repulsed. This is a public health issue that I feel so many people sweep under the rug. Because we live in a male-dominated society, women’s health and women’s rights are left to suffer.
I also want to clarify that being raped can happen to anyone, whether you are a man, a woman, or someone who does not identify themselves within the two. Men also face the thought that if they were to come out about the sexual assault they have suffered, then it is an attack on their masculinity. It is something that makes them feel of less value especially if a woman rapes them. People view it as an attack on their strength.
Mostly, it takes a lot of courage to confide in someone about these types of things happening. Some people think that it is normal until they have a safe space to talk about what it is that has happened. These people face the world, or their families, with the possible thought of not being believed.