The testimony on Capital Hill is being watched closely by victims of sexual assault. We spoke with the Assistant Director of the Compass Center to find out how all of this conversation is impacting them.
“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school,” said Christine Blasey Ford while testifying.
The sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are making waves.
For those who have experienced sexual assault, it’s been a difficult hearing to watch.
“It’s very hard to hear stories about sexual violence for survivors. Any time you hear a story they may think of the trauma that they experienced or may touch on something similar that happened to them,” said Michelle Trent, The Compass Center Assistant Director.
Michelle Trent with the Compass Center says the national, negative backlash against survivors takes a toll on victims.
Ford says her family has received death threats since speaking out.
“I was calculating daily the risk, benefit for me of coming forward and wondering whether I would be just jumping in front of a train that was headed to where it was headed anyway and that I would just be personally annihilated,” said Ford.
While it can be tough, hearing this testimony and others’ can also be healing for some victims.
Trent hopes this process isn’t discouraging people from coming forward, because the benefits of speaking up can be life-changing.
“Healing doesn’t change what’s happened, but it will allow somebody to be able to move forward in the direction that they choose, and not have the things that have happened to them hold them back,” said Trent.