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Freedom from Sexual Violence

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PRESS STATEMENT: CONGRESS IRRESPONSIBLY CONDUCTS HEARING, SURVIVOR ON TRIAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018

CONGRESS IRRESPONSIBLY CONDUCTS HEARING, SURVIVOR ON TRIAL

Supporting survivors and their loved ones means protecting them from exploitation, such as the entire country witnessed today in the halls of Congress.

DENVER, CO – What happened today to Dr. Blasey Ford, as well as what happens to other victims who come forward publicly, is EXACTLY why victims choose not to report and why CCASA is choosing to take a stand and do no further on-camera interviews on this topic. Subjecting victims to questioning in a manner that is victim blaming goes against best practices and is beyond reprehensible. Putting victims’ trauma on display is not only irresponsible but is damaging for survivors of sexual violence and their ability to heal.

The events today before the Senate Judiciary committee were retraumatizing to countless survivors who have also experienced sexual violence. This hearing sent a direct message to victims that their experiences don’t matter and that speaking their truth is irrelevant to officials at the highest levels of leadership. It is unfortunate that the insincere approach to this hearing and lack of thorough investigation may likely cause a chilling effect on reporting rates as the public observes how survivors are dismissed, threatened, and attacked and their reputations are smeared and slandered.

Tarana Burke recently spoke in Denver and reiterated the fact that the Me Too movement is not meant to bring people in power down – it is meant to lift up and unite survivors. We Believe Dr. Blasey Ford. She is not here to damage anyone’s career as some suggest; she testified to speak her truth about Brett Kavanaugh. She, like all of us, want our officials at the highest elected offices to consider the character of the next Supreme Court Justice.

Kavanaugh’s display today clearly shows a lack of compassion and ability to behave with gravitas; although Dr. Blasey Ford was expected to uphold such a demeanor. It is clear Brett Kavanaugh does not have the character or temperament that is required to uphold the public’s confidence in the integrity of our nation’s highest court. When survivors are scrutinized and retraumatized on a public platform there are no winners – we would like to remind the Senate Judiciary Committee of this plain yet shattering truth.

Dr. Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and all survivors, whether they come forward or not, are united today in making history. Although painful, there is hope that future generations will not suffer under such public scrutiny. It is the bravery exemplified by survivors like Dr. Blasey Ford everyday that will keep our movement sustained to end sexual violence. Those who persist in seeking resources and support for healing, despite public denouncements and judgments, are the heroes today.

We Believe You. CCASA is in solidarity with all survivors. There must be accountability, especially for those who want to lead our nation and serve in the highest offices.

 

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