Listen: today was an extraordinary day, with people around the world watching Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify.
This was clearly terrifying to her. Death threats have forced her family out of their home and into hiding.
Nobody willingly signs up for that, or to have their life put under the microscope.
Dr. Ford had nothing to gain and everything to lose.
The same is true with the second and third women who came forward. They aren’t hiding behind anonymous accusations. The media revealed their names and they’re paying a price for speaking out.
So I watched today. I listened to Dr. Ford.
And I believed her.
The floor plans, maps and Evil Twin theories from the hired prosecutor didn’t convince me at all. Just in terms of tone, Dr. Ford was extremely polite and calm. She never lashed out. Brett Kavanaugh was angry, shouty and out of control. Not the kind of temperament you want for a judge. He kept interrupting senators, especially the female ones, even turning around to ask them questions instead of answering the ones they posed.
The contrast between the two couldn’t have been more stark.
This is bigger than politics. Don’t take my word for it–listen to Chris Wallace on FOX News.
From covering crime as a reporter, I know how few rapists and sexual assault cases actually lead to a police report, an arrest or a conviction. It’s insane and it needs to stop, because the damage is deep and lasting.
That’s why you saw so many photos today of people in colleges, offices, bars and airplanes watching the live feeds.
This has unleashed a stream of people I know telling their story on Facebook or Twitter–for the first time–of why they didn’t report. Because they didn’t think anyone would believe them. Or they did report it, to their father, to a teacher, to the police, and it didn’t matter.
I read stories from people in their twenties to women in their seventies. They didn’t remember every detail, like the exact date, but they remembered the assault and the face of their attacker.
And I know friends and family with stories that are still too raw and painful, that they still won’t share.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We can do better.