On the Blasey Ford testimony

Image via The New York Times

Image via The New York Times

As we watch Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate committee, we need no further confirmation of the of the life-altering trauma that she has suffered and survived at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, and we are outraged on her behalf. 

Yet the actions and statements made by some of our political leaders have moved us back in time – back to a time when sexual assault and domestic violence survivors were silenced and incidents where men take advantage of women were swept under the rug. As one of the leading organizations working to end gender-based violence, JWI is outraged by the actions of the Senate Majority in their treatment of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The Senate must delay the vote and request the FBI re-open Brett Kavanaugh’s background check to interview the women who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault.

Finally, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, sexual assault allegations are being taken seriously. Survivors are speaking out and are being heard. Perpetrators of violence are being removed from their positions of power.

However, in hiring a prosecutor to examine Dr. Ford’s testimony, members of the Senate have instituted a process that neither upholds the dignity nor safety of the woman who has come forward to report that she was a victim of sexual assault by a nominee for the Supreme Court. They are rushing through a vote for the next Supreme Court Justice without an independent investigation and without expert witnesses to help them understand the science behind trauma.  Dr. Ford has bravely offered pertinent information that should help our nation decide if this man is qualified to a lifetime appointment on our nation’s highest court. However, instead of using a trauma-informed response, the Majority has decided to put her on trial.

We must believe survivors. We must support survivors as they disclose painful details of their assaults. We must resolve that men who abuse, sexually assault, and rape women do not deserve to be in positions of power.

We believe Dr. Ford.