Why I Believe Her

(Warning: May be triggering to survivors of violence.)

Christine Blasey Ford is an opportunist.

This has been the Republican refrain ever since the professor and mother of two came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when in their teens. I’ve heard it from political pundits and partisan talk show hosts and from rank-and-file Conservative friends on social media.

These people’s contention, is that Dr. Ford is stepping into the greatest of media circuses and braving the most invasive of woundings—for some sort of personal gain.

It is clearly, they claim—nothing more than opportunism.

Let’s look at her expansive list of “opportunities” here:

She’s getting the opportunity to have her successful career immediately derailed.
She’s getting the opportunity to have her personal information: address, phone number, and family information—disseminated to millions of people on social media by anonymous trolls.
She’s getting the opportunity to be forced to move out of her house in the middle of a school year.
She’s getting the opportunity to have her life completely and permanently turned upside down in every possible way.
She’s getting the opportunity to be publicly humiliated by old white men, who have zero regard for the veracity of her claims or the severity of her trauma or the cost of her speaking.
She’s getting the opportunity to be the object of sick jokes on the Twitter account of the supposed adult son of the President.
She’s getting the opportunity to have her character assassinated, her past unearthed, her credibility questioned, and her safety threatened.

She’s getting the opportunity to relive her most painful and personal moments in front of the watching world.
She’s getting the opportunity to be injured a second time.

Some opportunity.

I’ve served as a pastor and caregiver for the past twenty-five years, much of that working with teenagers who’ve walked through the private hell that all survivors of assault go through.

And in the past few days, I’ve seen every single familiar cruelty hurled at Dr. Ford: victim blaming, public shaming, privacy invasion, vile insults lobbed from a distance, collateral damage to loved ones.

This is the reason victims often tell me they stay imprisoned in silence: because as painful as it is to suffer alone and inside your head, sometimes for decades—it often pales in comparison to the violence you experience if you dare to speak your truth.

The percentage of false abuse claims is so incredibly low for a reason—because survivors invariably lose so much by speaking.
There is almost no upside to claiming violation, no winning in exposing your pain to strangers, no reward for showing your scars.

The idea that Dr. Ford and millions of survivors come forward, because they’re opportunists looking to profit—is one of the most asinine and ill-informed takes on the planet.

Oh, I’m certainly seeing opportunism right now:

I’m seeing a group of politicians taking the opportunity to fall over themselves to defend the accused and demonize the accuser.
I’m seeing a political party taking the opportunity to swiftly bulldoze a hurting human being, in order to stack the highest court in our nation.
I’m seeing a multitude of angry men, taking the opportunity to dehumanize a woman and display their entitled rage.
I’ve seen Evangelical pastors, taking the opportunity to remind us that God is an old white man, and that women are less-than.

I’m seeing an Administration marked by open misogyny, taking the opportunity to again tell women that their voices and bodies and wills and consent and lives—simply do not count.

By there is one more opportunity here.

The good people of this country, have the opportunity to declare the treatment of Dr. Ford and others who share stories like hers—to be a disgrace.

We have the opportunity to push back against the damagers and the bullies and the silencers; to drag their sickness out into the raking light of accountability.

We have the opportunity to let other survivors know that they do not deserve to be injured a second time, that they do not need to suffer in the shadows and in silence, that we will listen to them and believe them and stand with them.

May we not waste this opportunity.

 

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50 thoughts on “Why I Believe Her

  1. Pingback: Mike's Blog Round Up – Liberal View News

  2. As a teen, I was raped on several occasions by a family friend. I went to my youth pastor and told him. He did not believe me (It was common knowledge that I was rebellious and promiscuous). Years later, I contacted the pastor and asked why he didn´t believe me. Why he didn´t help me. He never answered.

  3. WOW! Who does she have to blame for any of this? Who forced her to write the letter to her Congressman? Who went and gave an interview? to the Washington Post? What Senator who had a chance to ask about this in Private decided to wait for the 11th hour to bring it up? Who was it who gave out her name?

    Why did someone who knew about the accusation say to the FBI to look into it 7 weeks ago? Why hasn’t she, still to this day went and filed charges against Bret Kavanaugh? Why are the Democrats refusing to give a copy of the letter to the Republicans?

    Who the Hell can believe this woman when they don’t even know her when so many women who actually Know Kavanaugh has come forward and say there’s NO WAY Bret Kavanaugh did anything like this?

    WHY? WHY? WHY?

    You can’t go and purposely cut your hand off and then go and blame the person who sold you the knife for it.

    • Well said

      Being told that you must believe someone, just because of their gender or race, is quite literally one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.
      Facts Matter

  4. Kavanaugh Accuser Here’s a timeline:
    1982 – Something may or may not have happened with another 2 (or 4) teenagers at a party, she cannot remember who threw the party, where the party was held, who she was with or how she got home. She was drinking and said nothing to anyone.
    1983… She said nothing
    1984… She said nothing
    1985… She said nothing
    1986… She said nothing
    1987… She said nothing
    1988… She said nothing
    1989… She said nothing
    1990… She said nothing
    1991… She said nothing
    1992… She said nothing
    1993… She said nothing
    1994… She said nothing
    1995… She said nothing
    1996… She said nothing
    1997… She said nothing
    1998… She said nothing
    1999… She said nothing
    2000… She said nothing
    2001… She said nothing
    2002… She said nothing.
    July 25, 2003: President George W. Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit… She said nothing.
    2004… She said nothing
    2005… She said nothing.
    May 11, 2006: The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary recommended confirmation. Kavanaugh subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate… She said nothing.
    June 1, 2006: Kavanaugh sworn in by Justice Anthony Kennedy… She said nothing.
    2007… She said nothing
    2008… She said nothing
    2009… She said nothing
    2010… She said nothing
    2011… She said nothing.
    2012… She remembered ‘something’ happened in 1982, yet doesn’t name Kavanaugh, still said nothing to authorities.
    2013… She said nothing
    2014… She said nothing
    2015… She said nothing
    2016… She said nothing
    2017 – becomes an anti-trump activist.
    2018 – now 36 years later, with Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS confirmation looming, she pens an anonymous letter with grave accusations against Kavanaugh regarding foggy circumstance that occurred while they were both minors, then reveals herself and DEMANDS an FBI investigation before testifying to her incredible allegations?
    Who does she think she is? Now she want to tell the Senate what to do and get the FBI who investigated Kavanaugh 6 times to do it again for a alleged non-Federal crime. The Senate has its own investigators. She delaying his appointment because she’s an anti-Trump loony.

    Just Doesn’t add up

    • 5. Traumatic experiences scramble your memories: maybe you’ve misremembered what happened

      Many people who have been raped or sexually assaulted often claim to have vivid memories of certain images, sounds and smells associated with the attack – even if happened decades earlier. Yet when asked to recall exactly what time of day it was, or who and what was where at any given time – the kinds of details police and prosecutors often focus on to establish the facts of a crime – they may struggle or contradict themselves, undermining their testimony.

      “There is this tragic discrepancy between what is expected within the criminal justice system and the nature of trauma memories and how people are likely to be reporting them,” says Amy Hardy, a clinical psychologist at Kings College London.
      http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180926-myths-about-sexual-assault-and-rape-debunked

    • Did you read the article? Do you see what people are doing to her now? How does that not add up?

      She was 15 and at a party where there was underage drinking. So she tells her parents, “hey, I wasn’t at the library, I was at a party. Let’s go to the police about my assault, where I will give them the names of every other kid who was drinking underage.” What 15 year old will do that?

      Victims of assault are slut-shamed, blamed and threatened with violence, and you think it “doesn’t add up” why they don’t come forward?

  5. Thank you for sharing your humanity. It’s hard to wake up every day with this stunned overwhelm at the lack of alliance coming from the world at large. To imagine in 2018 that this is the world I live in. It’s devestating.

  6. I waited three decades to tell my story, up until my abuser died & then after about a year later! No one believed me, except for my Mother & oldest sister, both RIP, who both suffered abuse at the hands of the same monster…still my other two siblings did not believe me!
    And after suffering for believing I didn’t have any credibility because they could mot validate me. For the longest time I began to believe they were right & I was wrong, somehow!
    But it did happen & after much heartache & with the wonderful help of councilors, I no longer need their validation, or anyone’s for that matter!
    I didn’t bring it up or talk about it because I was threatened that my Mom & siblings would be badly hurt! Not only that, I didn’t feel believed by other people!
    After he was gone, it allowed me to begin to tell my story!
    There are all kinds of reasons that people don’t talk about being sexually abused, I think the biggest one is the shame & the fear of not being believed!
    I hate that Trump decided she was lying, but then he’s an abuser also & they do stick together! It’s sad he gets to be the judge & jury on someone else’s life & then make a determination as to whether it’s true or not!
    Seriously, who would want to make up a story like this?
    It’s hard enough to go through the pain of it the first time, rather than say something & lose credibility, but I think she reached a point she had to bring this out now for very good reason!
    Just for the record, I believe her 100%!!!
    I also love & wholeheartedly believe what Elizabeth Detrich has articulated in her message below. I copied her words, as they are so relevant in this situation, she wrote;
    “In reporting her experience, Dr. Ford has opened herself up to death threats, public scrutiny and risking her peace of mind and her job.
    When a victim’s experience is dismissed as not real, we are rejecting the person’s attempt at making meaning of their experience. That’s a cruel and heartless thing to do to someone.”
    That’s the bottom line!

  7. Thank you for your honest appraisal of this entire situation. It is tragic and traumatizing to many- those who continue to suffer in silence and those who find a way to speak their truth.

  8. Pingback: Why I Believe Christine Blasey Ford – Parrots, Prose, and Poetry

  9. Kavanaugh is an opportunist who has imposed this painful melodrama on the citizens of this country for the advancement of his own career. Bringing his children to the hearing?

  10. Perhaps the most ignorant, uninformed, and sappy butt-kissing post I’ve read in 5 years. Absolutely pathetic, and an embarrassment to any person with even part of a brain. You should be ashamed of yourself, but alas, your ego is too large for that to happen.

  11. delete this comment, but this is an excellent article, but typo . You wrote By there is one more opportunity here. Because it is a stand alone sentence, you might want to fix. Thanks…wonderful article.

  12. I believe her. In my time (60’s) the type of behavior she described was prevalent in college fraternities, military bases, etc. where young guys were prone to drink and generally “hunt” for sexual opportunities (trophies). The reason I believe her is that she describes an all too common pattern of sexual conquest. I’ve never told my sister, my mother, or even my daughter how it could happened to me. Partly, because I was ashamed that I had not resisted enough; that I was not strong enough to say “No” (my mother never allowed us to say NO to her), or physically fight off persistent and aggressive unwanted sex. Dr. Ford was not raped, but she was molested. Having been repeatedly molested, I began to think of it as ordinary (predator/prey, referred today as date rape). When I endured a frightening experience of attempted rape, I only shared my story once years later, and never again, because I relived it by talking about it. Dr. Ford would have kept it inside. If my attacker were being appointed to the highest court in the land and his integrity and background presumed to be above reproach, the outrage would boil up inside me and I would confront him publicly and without shame.

    • Sybil, yes the 60s was a different era, many ppl stood up against many thing, make love not war, flower power etc.
      Also fashion breakthrough came tight jeans tight pullover dress showing females curves, many did it to get jobs, words had different meanings.
      Gay, was happy joyful, now its more for homosexuals.
      Ppl are jumping on the band wagon claiming the new words of today should be appropriate today.
      There’s issues on both sides, females abused male vise versa.
      We have to much hatred in the world today, to much corruption.
      Now the case is over, er story is full of holes untruths. The only she’ll make … The stigma shed put on Kavanagh is not right. Looking at it, not just her its the dems that have abused her now left her high and dry.
      My instincts from the start she was framing him, he’ rejected her, or there was a political motive.
      Things like this should be done in private until and a positive outcome is proven.
      Look at Cliff Richards in the UK.

  13. “You will never want to f*ck another woman when I have finished with you… I should go ahead and kill you now so we have one less queer… I will tell your parents you are gay if you go to the cops.”

    I wasn’t ready for them to know. I told no one. For decades.

  14. John, Thank you SO much for speaking up about this absurdity. I happened to turn on NPR while driving yesterday evening and heard #45’s rant against women in response to a simple question a woman journalist tried to ask him about his Supreme Court nominee. #45 babbled on incoherently for five minutes while the journalist waited for him to finish. She then attempted to return to her question. “Mr. President, you did not permit me to ask my question.” He blasted back, “You’ve been asking me questions for the last ten minutes. SIT DOWN.” This is what it feels like to be a woman in this nation. This is how it feels to be a women in the USA right now: I feel the way it must have felt for African Americans in the south during the Jim Crow laws. There is no hope for us. I have a suggestion: Let’s make it equal by appointing TWO MORE WOMEN to the Supreme Court.

  15. sigh. i’m 69 years old and i did not tell anyone until i was 50. it did not help. i’m starting with a new therapist this week. what happened is one of the reasons i know there is no god. i prayed for the assaults to stop. they did not stop. why would zombie jeebus or sky daddy or holy mackerel’s ghost or even the zombie’s mommy not help? because they are fairy tales. very old fairy tales.

  16. You should be writing for a major news outlet or magazine. I read few articles today that are as articulate and thoughtful as yours.

    Have you thought to send your articles to a news outlet of magazine?

    I’d read or visit any that had such thoughtful writers.

  17. Nearly everyone I know believes her. I believe her. I believe the other two as well. I also believe all of the people coming forward about Kavanaugh’s drunken behavior and how he goes belligerent drunk and testy. Violent drunks who do weird stuff—no thanks. Not on my U.S. Supreme Court.

    Resist!!!!

    Just click my icon to say hello.

  18. Being told that you must believe someone, because of their gender or race is quite literally one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

    Facts Matter…
    And really, Only Facts Matter!

    My Father-in-law was accused of molesting a young member of the family. It destroyed this man and he basically waited to die.
    5 years later we found out it was a false accusation.

    Facts Matter.

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