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Daya Stands With Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

DayaHOUSTON: On September 27, like many across the country, we watched as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford bravely testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about her sexual assault. Her opening words captured what so many sexual assault victims feel each day when telling their story – “I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified.”

Dr. Ford described her trauma with eloquence and expertise. She spoke of her lasting memories, PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks – all common results of the trauma of sexual assault. Equally as importantly, Dr. Ford eloquently addressed the lingering question posed by so many over the past week –why don’t victims report their assaults? She recalled her fear and her shame. She tried to minimize her assault, hoping that she could “move on and just pretend that it had never happened.” Like so many survivors, Dr. Ford had to weigh the risks every day, living with the fear that she would be “personally annihilated.”

Despite her fears, she came forward. Immediately after her testimony many major news stations took comments from callers. One caller questioned why she was still in her wet bathing suit. Another suggested that, “boys will be boys.” Yet among the tired and predictable responses born from America’s rape culture, we started to see signs of solidarity, validation, and support. Hashtags of belief flooded our newsfeeds. Dr. Ford was called a hero and a patriot. By telling her truth, Dr. Ford created hope.

As an agency that supports survivors of sexual violence, we at Daya stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We believe her as we believe all survivors. Survivors of sexual violence face systemic and societal barriers when seeking support and reporting their assaults. As a community, we have the chance to break these barriers. We urge you all to hold abusers accountable, address our society’s rape culture with your children, and, above all else, believe survivors.

In the coming days, Dr. Ford’s brave testimony will continue to dominate conversations on the news, at our workplaces, and across our dinner tables. These conversations are difficult. We encourage you all to take care of yourselves and each other. If you or someone you love is triggered by these events, seek support from agencies such as Daya or RAINN.

By believing survivors and spreading compassion we can create a world where young girls and women no longer need to be afraid to tell their truth and reclaim their safety. Today we thank Dr. Ford for giving us the opportunity to change the conversation about sexual violence in our country.

For details contact: Rachna Khare, Executive Director  (713) 842-7222 / rachna@dayahouston.org

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