Update: Kavanaugh has been approved to go to the next stage of the nomination process but could still face an FBI investigation after Senator Flake called for one. The two women who apprehended Senator Jeff Flake in the life have been credited by some as the people to have helped influence Flake’s decision.
In the past 24 hours, America has bore witness to just how little the powers that be care about the truth. Although Dr Christine Blasey Ford came forward and gave heartfelt and calm testimony as to what she says Brett Kavanaugh did to her, and tried to do to her, when he was 17 and she just 15, and Kavanaugh responded like he is still very much 17, the US Senate Judiciary Committee seem to be siding with him.
Senator Flake, a key voter, said that he would still confirm Kavanaugh, who Dr Ford alleged, six years before this hearing, that the judge had assaulted her. According to Ford, he locked her in a room at a party - alongside his friend Mark Judge - and then laid on top of her, trying to take her clothes off, groping her and covering her mouth to the point she thought he may accidentally suffocate her.
Now, it’s looking likely that Kavanaugh will still make his way into the Supreme Court.
It didn’t need to be this way - Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, could have called for the FBI to intervene, to investigate the issue thoroughly, in a way the senate panel couldn’t.
The truth could have been found. And the panel could have subpoenaed (that means demanding someone testify) Mark Judge, the only witness to the event, according to Dr Ford, who has previously said ‘I did not ask to be involved in this matter nor did anyone ask me to be involved.’ But they voted that down. Instead, it looks likely, especially now Senator Flake - who was filmed trying to ignore sex assault survivors’ testimony earlier today - has ok-ed Kavanaugh, that he’ll be waved through to the next stage of his journey on the way to the Supreme Court.
The next hurdle is a Senate vote, and while it’s sure that many of them won’t vote to confirm Kavanaugh, he’s already got this far…
Following the news that US sexual abuse hotlines have seen calls spike 147% on Thursday, as compared to any other day when sexual assault wasn’t prominently in the news, British survivors’ charities have come forward to laud Dr Ford for her bravery.
Katie Russell, spokeswoman for Rape Crisis, told Grazia: ‘Speaking out about sexual violence is still an incredibly difficult thing for people to do in today’s society it’s still saturated in stigma, victim blaming and stereotypes, many of which are sexist and even misogynistic.’
‘The testamony in the US of Dr Ford was incredibly inspirational and it must have be a phenomenally difficult thing to do especially in front of people who aren’t warm or empathetic and especially on an international stage.’
‘Is if anybody is impacted by the coverage and has had memories of their own experiences triggered would like to be listened to or speak to someone in confidence, contact your nearest specialist Rape Crisis centre.’
And a statement from Victim Support read: ‘We know that the majority of sexual assaults are not reported and a major factor is the fear of not being believed.
‘Sexual assault can have a devastating emotional and physical impact and by not reporting it can prevent victims accessing the help they need,’ they added, continuing: ‘Cases like this can be so important in empowering victims to speak out and seek the justice and the support that they so deserve.’
Visit Rape Crisis’s website here.
Victim Support provide specialist practical and emotional support to victims of all crimes, including sexual assault, whether or not it has been reported to the police. The charity can provide support no matter where or when the incident took place. For help and information you can call the 24/7 Supportline on 0808 16 89 111 or visit the website – www.victimsupport.org.uk