Like so many others, I have been struggling with my feelings regarding the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing and the testimony of Dr. Ford.

As a sexual assault survivor, I am deeply saddened by the words and conduct of our government and the elected officials who are supposed to represent us.

As a HUMAN survivor of sexual assault, like so many others, I feel compelled to speak up.

To Donald Trump and the men and women at the rallies who cheered, laughed as he made fun of Dr. Ford’s memory of the event and the politicians who are using this as an opportunity to cover themselves politically, Let me of a few things.

1. Speaking as an attorney, I say to them: Bravo, well played! Words matter. There is a difference between “I don’t recall” or “I have no knowledge.” These statements are not the same as “it never happened.”

2. Double speak and credible corroborating witnesses. I am personally offended. To say, I believe “something” happened to you, but not the way you remember it. This is what I say to you. In situations where the parties are known to each other in some context; YOU KNOW WHO ATTACKED YOU. As much as you’d like to forget or believe, you know.

Also, Dr. Ford is right, you never, ever, forget the laughter. Except now, I can add the mockery of the President.

3. Chilling effect.

I hope survivors, both women and men will continue to come forward and force the conversation. “When the system fails you, why even come forward?” Do not continue to buy into this way of thinking.

After my assault, I was interviewed at first by two make detectives. When one of them stepped out, the other one said to me that the guy had said it was consensual and I was young and inexperienced so it was an understandable mistake. When I told others what the detective said, it was my word against his.

They let him go. Three months later he attacked another girl and then the police tried to do something.

Stay informed. Stay focused and ignore the attempts to muddy the waters.

To my fellow survivors I stand with you. I pray for your healing and that you find peace.

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