Over the past week, news broke of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accusing Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanagh of sexual assault. As a Supreme Court Justice nominee, his resume should be entirely blameless, so this allegation has come as a blow to the nation. Let’s unpack the situation.
Finding concrete evidence from an incident that happened over 30 years ago will be difficult to find, but to indict guilt, the court only needs to believe one half of the story more than the other. Even if the stakes were between 50-50, he said/she said, only one side needs to be more likely than the other. So the question is: Who’s telling the truth?
Dr. Ford has come forward as a sexual-assault survivor (assault doesn’t have to be rape by the way) after years of suppressing these memories, which Kavanagh admits probably happened to Dr. Ford, even if he won’t claim responsibility. If we can all believe this happened to her, why would she choose to accuse Kavanagh of all people?
Consider this: What are the benefits for Dr. Ford? Kavanagh claims the Democratic Party has paid her off with a substantial amount of money, but as a professional woman with a PhD in clinical psychology, what financial issues does she have? Why would the Democratic Party choose a successful woman to propose these allegations considering her professional reputation, her family and other incentives not to make false allegations? Fame?
Short answer: There are no benefits for her.
Let’s consider instead why it’s so difficult for America to swallow a sexual assault victim’s story. People need to understand predators and victims exist in this world, and it’s statistically proven there’s probably a victim of sexual assault in everybody’s inner circle.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 1 of every 6 women have experienced sexual assault. Imagine sitting in a room of six women, knowing one woman in that room has experienced such a heinous crime. Consider this at the next family gathering, church congregation or simply walking down the street.
Yes, false rape claims do happen, but according to an article published by Stanford University, only 2 percent of all rape claims are actually falsified. That’s an incredibly small margin to immediately dismiss every survivor’s sexual assault story.
Women’s voices should always be heard. They deserve to be heard. Rather than immediately believing they’re lying for personal benefit or being coerced by an outside party, first consider if they’re telling the truth, and what if the woman in the spotlight was a woman you know. Would you call her a liar then, or would you give her the benefit of the doubt? Simply listen and discern the difference.