Friday, December 4, 2020

It’s time to listen to victims

The hearings of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh last week spurred many strong responses from both sides of the political aisle.

 

Following last Thursday’s hearings was the predictable barrage of tweets harrasing Ford. They questioned her motives, mocked her voice and denied the validity of her accusations, among other things.

 

All the while came the declarations from the right of, “How could you do this to this poor man?” or “How could you destroy this man’s reputation?” As if those were the things to worry about.

 

Then came Tuesday night when President Donald Trump himself mocked Ford’s testimony, impersonating her answers from the hearing, and calling her memory into question.

 

All of this goes to show why there’s very little chance any woman would want to come forward with a false story.

 

Accusers, especially those on as big of a public stage as Ford, almost universally face harassment. News organizations from the BBC to CNN have reported that Ford has faced numerous death threats since going public.

 

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women will be raped in their lifetime.

 

In an article on Snopes.com debunking the myth that “99 percent of rape accusations are false,” they estimate that the number is closer to 5 percent based on the most recent and credible studies and evidence.

 

With statistics like that, our first questions to women who come forward shouldn’t be, “Why did you wait to come forward?” or “How do we know you’re not lying?”

 

It should be, “How can we help you tell your truth?”

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