Letter to the Editor

Dear  Editor,

Millions of sexual assault survivors across the country had to relive trauma this week while watching Brett Kavanaugh vie for a seat on the highest court in the land. I am one of them — and I believe Christine Blasey Ford.

Earlier this year, I experienced something similar to the testimony Ford gave before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary — someone I knew and trusted held me down, ignoring my repeated pleas to stop as he raped me. When Ford talked about the trauma she’s faced for decades after the attack, I thought of my own struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. When asked why she is just now coming forward, I thought about how I kept the details of my assault hidden from everyone — even close friends and family — for months. When she gave her reasoning, that she could not bear to see her attacker rise to such a prestigious position, I thought of my own attacker one day telling me he’d seek political office. I cannot bear the thought of that.

While watching Ford’s credibility publicly questioned has made the past week difficult for me, I am inspired by her bravery and thankful that the work I do as a fellow for NextGen Virginia allows me to mobilize young voters and advocate for legislators who represent and value us as women. We have a lot of progress to make—and we’ll start with the midterms.

 

Julia Salavantis

Junior, Political Science

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