#WhyIDidntReport Is A Gut-Wrenching Response To Trump’s Attack on Ford’s Credibility

Ting Shen/ZUMA

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For the first time since Christine Blasey Ford came forward with sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump on Friday openly suggested that Ford’s account may not be credible—a clear end to the uncharacteristically measured response Trump had initially taken after Ford’s detailed account was published in the Washington Post Sunday—because Ford did not report the incident when it allegedly occurred more than 30 years ago when Ford and Kavanaugh were teenagers.

Democratic lawmakers and advocates of sexual assault victims instantly condemned the president’s direct challenge to Ford’s accusations, as it displayed a failure to grasp long-established understandings of survivor trauma and the emotional and institutional difficulties survivors face in holding their attackers accountable.

Trump’s evolving stance on Ford—which adds to his record of defending men like Kavanaugh who have been similarly accused of misconduct—spurred a wave of women to publicize their experiences with sexual assault and explain their decisions not to report their attackers. The stories included some women who explained what went wrong when they did try to report their assaults.

https://twitter.com/JessicaValenti/status/1043164049276588033

The powerful display of solidarity came as conservatives continue trying to discredit Ford’s credibility, through conspiracy theories of mistaken identity and Democratic plots to kill Kavanaugh’s nomination. Others have dismissed Ford as “mixed up.” 

Shortly after Trump’s tweets on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hammer through Kavanaugh’s nomination process, with or without Ford’s testimony. Trump and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee continue to deny Ford’s calls for an FBI investigation to look into her accusations.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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