Despite the fact that we are living through the #MeToo era, there is still a stigma surrounding victims of sexual assault. Far too many women don’t feel safe or comfortable coming forward to share their stories.
Over the past week, the Republican Party has shown us exactly why by essentially putting Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford on trial instead of the man who allegedly raped her.
In an interview with MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes, Sen. Richard Blumenthal blasted Republicans for their treatment of Kavanaugh‘s accuser, who now says she is willing to testify next week.
“This crime is underreported because of precisely the fear that is now being realized, the nightmare for Dr. Blasey Ford,” the Democratic senator said.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 21, 2018
Sen. Blumenthal said:
One in every six women in America are assaulted or raped. This crime is underreported because of precisely the fear that is now being realized, the nightmare for Dr. Basley Ford. And the way that some of our Republican colleagues are talking about her with utter insensitivity and hostility simply illustrates the problems she may encounter at this hearing.
Women shouldn’t just be heard; they should be believed
Republicans are making a gamble that simply letting Dr. Ford speak publicly about her experience is good enough. Once they allow her that, they’ll likely attempt to speed past this entire episode and try to confirm Kavanaugh.
But women shouldn’t just be heard when they come forward to tell their stories. They should be believed.
In this particular instance – when Dr. Ford knew she would face death threats and violent political backlash – her claims have even more credibility.
After all, people who are making up sexual assault allegations don’t ask the FBI to investigate them. People don’t voluntarily throw themselves into the limelight to have their life threatened.
It’s easy to understand why the party of Donald Trump and Roy Moore would actively work to undercut the credibility of sexual assault survivors, but America is beginning to see through it.
In November, all the women they hoped would remain silent are going to be the driving force behind a blue wave that will send Republicans reeling.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.