After Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee about her alleged sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday morning, multiple women called the C-SPAN public hotline to share their own stories.
A total of four separate female callers described how Ford’s testimony brought memories back, how they related to Ford’s recollections of the incident from the early ’80s, and how they viewed Ford’s treatment by the committee.
“This brings back so much pain. I thought I was over it but I’m not. You will never forget,” Brenda, a 76-year-old Missouri woman calling from the Valley Park Missouri Democrats’ line, told the C-SPAN. “I have not brought this up until this testimony. It is just breaking my heart.”
Brenda described how she was allegedly molested by a seventh-grader while she was in the second grade.
“You get confused and you don’t understand it, but you never forget what happened to you… I thought I was over it until I heard what happened to someone else and it is just... it is just such a shame,” she said. “I would see him, and I would get so upset.”
Ford admitted in her opening statement that she was “terrified” of coming forward now and explained how the alleged incident has had long-term effects on her. Ford claimed she agonized over her decision to speak up in light of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, given the trauma she experienced and the personal attacks her public disclosure has brought upon her and her family.
Despite this, Ford’s testimony seemingly inspired other women to come forward with their own experiences.
Another woman, a 26-year-old named Jessica from Pittsburgh, claimed she was sexually assaulted as a 19-year-old college student.
“I don’t want to get into too much more detail,” Jessica told C-SPAN, her voice cracking as she audibly sobbed on the line. “I apologize. It’s just that it’s very important for victims of sexual assault that we take these accusations seriously. I’m disappointed that there has not been an FBI investigation.”
A 53-year-old mother named Michelle called from the Republican line soon thereafter, disclosing to C-SPAN that she and her daughter are both survivors of sexual assault.
“I’ve been so frightened. The only person I ever told that to was my husband,” Michelle said, describing her own assault.
She said her daughter filed a police report after surviving two sexual assaults. “I want to make this clear, you don’t do that lightly.” Michelle added that by reporting and talking about the incident, sexual-assault survivors “get to suffer all over again.”
When asked if she found Ford’s testimony to be credible, Michelle said Ford “comes across as a credible witness” but she finds Kavanaugh “just as compelling.”
Hillary, another woman calling from Pittsburgh, shared her own story about getting attacked at a party.
“I was in college, at a party, and I didn’t know someone else was spiking my drink. When I realized it, I stumbled out of the building—but he followed me and violently attacked me,“ she said. “I got away but it was a horrible incident.”
The woman also spoke out about Kavanaugh, saying she couldn’t “imagine” someone with the alleged “attitudes for attacking someone in this way” to be on the Supreme Court.
“[Ford] is not on trial,” she said. “I think [the committee] is treating her badly.”