Christine Blasey-Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Pitfalls of Speaking Out

SNAP Network

September 26, 2018

For immediate release, September 26, 2018

Zach Hiner, Executive Director,, (517) 974-9009

Since she first came forward with allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of the current nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States, Christine Blasey-Ford has been the subject of news reports, internet comment threads, and dinner table conversations around the country. The subject of many of those conversations or think-pieces has been less about what Brett Kavanaugh allegedly did to Dr. Blasey-Ford (and potentially several other women) and more about why Dr. Blasey-Ford is coming forward now, what she has to gain from making her allegations public and whether or not she is a liar.

Dr. Blasey-Ford’s allegations are amplified largely because of the profile of the person being accused, and it is easy to dismiss the furor – on both sides – as political bickering. But as an organization that has worked with survivors of institutional abuse for more than thirty years, we know it isn’t quite so simple.

On the largest of scales, what is happening to Dr. Blasey-Ford is what happens to far too many survivors of sexual abuse when they come forward. Too many people focus on the wrong “why” – instead of asking “why did this abuse occur in the first place,” the questions are “why are you coming forward now?” or “why do you think this is helpful?” Sometimes, as seen with Dr. Blasey-Ford, the question is “why are you lying?”

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