April 14, 2024

In wake of the Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sexual assault investigation, it is important to look at the public’s response.

From Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) calling the allegations a “hiccup” in the midst of the nomination to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) waving the it off because it happened years ago to Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tweeting he was “unfazed” by the allegations, it is clear the Republican Party is not taking the claims seriously.

Although indifference is harmful, the public’s response has been dangerous. Since Ford’s claims have gone pub- lic, she has received death threats, hate mail and harassment. She was forced to relocate her family. Her email was hacked and she was even impersonated online.

In a letter to Grassley, Ford expressed that these were the fears she had about going public with the information and her identity.

No one would risk everything for a false claim if it meant having his or her entire life turned upside down and his or her family threatened. Sexual assault can ruin a victim’s life, take away his or her basic trust in humanity and severely damage self-esteem.

Sexual assault is a serious topic, not something few people would falsely claim.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network statistics, one in six women will experience rape or attempted rape in her life- time. With such a high number of victims, it is no surprise that nearly 600 women have written support letters to Ford saying they believe her, according to The Guardian. Ford’s testimony clearly resonates with other victims.

Ford is an educated, well-respected woman with a doctorate in psychology who conducts research at the Stanford University School of Medicine and teaches at Palo Alto University. Lying about this damage her reputation and, without any real witnesses, appear foolish. No intelligent woman would ever put herself in that position on purpose. She said it herself: “I am here because I believe it is my civic duty.”

Ford was clear she did not want to go public. She does not stand to gain anything other than victim blaming and more harassment. President Donald J. Trump mocking her at a Mississippi rally justifies those fears.

This is a very trying time for both Ford and Kavanaugh but it is important to re-evaluate why the first reaction is disbelief.

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