EDITORIAL: Victims of sexual assault deserve to be heard, Mr. President

In the wake of the Senate decision to push through Brett Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court Justice, The Crier would like to formally state that we support all survivors of sexual assault.

We are currently living in an age during which sexual assault victims face the shadow of a double-edged sword: either they are chastised for not speaking up for themselves or they are ridiculed when they do.

Survivors must also face the dilemma of attempting to move on from the assault without the immediate scrutiny of a demand for justice, or waiting years only for many to accuse them of attempting to ruin their assailant’s reputations.  

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick are three immensely brave women who put aside their fears and stood in the condemnatory eyes of the public in order to show our country what it means to be a victim of sexual assault.

Dr. Ford had said herself that she was “terrified” to testify: “I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me…”

The Crier would additionally like to extend a statement denouncing the latest of President Donald Trump’s comments about survivors of sexual assault.  

In particular, we lament and are disgusted that his discussion of Dr. Ford’s testimony at the latest rally was mocking, cruel, and a clear attempt to diminish the astounding amount of bravery which Dr. Ford displayed at her hearing on Sept. 27.

On the day of the confirmation vote, the President tweeted a dismissive message about the protestors outside of Capitol Hill, in which he called them “paid professional actors.”

These words, alongside Kavanaugh’s confirmation, have sparked feelings of hopelessness among America’s assault survivors. Many individuals, most of them women, feel as if this particular trauma is now a polarized, partisan issue, rather than a moral offense and a actionable crime.

Due to this Supreme Court nomination reinvigorating the discussion on sexual assault in the waves of the #MeToo Movement, we have begun to discuss plans to introduce a new column in the paper in order to create a platform for survivor voices on campus.

We hope to collaborate with Campus Ministry, The Harbor, and Health Services during Enough is Enough week to lend a hand in lifting up the voices on campus that deserve to be heard.

More information will follow in the upcoming weeks.

Survivors, of course, can contact Campus Ministry, The Harbor, and Health Services for any of their needs.

This new column is not intended to be used to promote allegations or demand investigations. Rather, it is a safe space for survivors to record not only their assault or abuse, but their healing.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach us by email: [email protected]