The world has been abuzz today as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testified against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. She alleges he sexually assaulted her while they were in high school. The reactions to Blasey Ford coming forward have been predictably mixed, with some rallying for people to honor and believe her as a survivor, others dismissing the claims, and some, even, surprisingly standing by Kavanaugh. One such person is his wife. Ashley Estes Kavanaugh's response to allegations that her husband was physically and sexually abusive is disappointing to say the least.
It is not easy or simple to respond to allegations that those closest to you could be capable of having done terrible things. However, it's important, especially in cases like this, to maintain as objective of a view as possible.
The Washington Post reported that Kavanaugh's wife defended her husband, calling the accusations "out of character," and reiterating that, as she has known him for nearly a decade, she can make a testament to his character. “No. I mean, I know Brett — I’ve known him for 17 years," she said. “And this is not at all characteristic. It’s really hard to believe. He’s decent. He’s kind. He’s good. I know his heart. This is not consistent with Brett.”
This morning, Blasey Ford took to the stand to testify that her allegations were, in fact, truthful.
CNBC reported she said he "groped me and tried to take off my clothes." She continued: "He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life."
Prior to the hearing, Blasey Ford released a statement in which she described, in detail, what happened the evening she alleged he attacked her. CNN reported as follows:
I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me. I yelled, hoping someone downstairs might hear me, and tried to get away from him, but his weight was heavy. Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk, and because I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under my clothes. I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me. Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time. Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.
The Washington Post reported that Kavanaugh still denies the allegations, and insists that he will not be withdrawing from the nomination because of them. “The truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise,” the newspaper reported he said. “I’m not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process."
Though the fate of Kavanaugh's nomination is still very much yet to be determined, it is nonetheless a polarizing and challenging time, particularly for women and survivors of sexual assault — whose fears of disbelief are likely only heightened by the events playing out right now.