Today I watched as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Like many survivors, I was inspired by Dr. Ford’s courage. During her testimony, I Tweeted:
Then I realized the same words apply to every woman in this country. Including me.
That is why I chose to name my rapist on Twitter: Joe Fain. He currently serves as a Senator in the Washington State Legislature. I did this without professional legal counsel. It was a decision I made in the moment.
However, it feels like a decision I have been building up to for a long time. Over the past several years, I have spoken with many people and written publicly about the details of my sexual assault.
Until recently, I withheld my rapist’s name, even in private conversations. I hoped that I could help change the culture of sexual assault without needing to say his name. I no longer believe that to be the case. We cannot heal without accountability.
Like Dr. Ford, I can no longer remain silent knowing that the man who raped me is in a position to influence the laws that govern my state and impact every woman who lives here. I do not believe that survivors have a civic duty to speak out. I believe that we have a civic duty to believe survivors.
Throughout our history, women who have spoken up about sexual assault have been threatened, defamed, gaslighted, had their character and sanity called into question, and been blocked from opportunities. It is time for that to change.
I recognize the importance of this story for our state’s politics and the importance of this moment in time for our national culture. I will have more to say about this in the coming days.
Thank you to everyone who has shown support to me and to other survivors today.