Why Every Mom Needs to Hear Dr. Christine Ford Give Her Testimony

The question I keep hearing is, If Dr. Ford’s allegations of sexual harassment are true, why didn’t she press charges when it happened? or Why didn’t she say something earlier? 

I have one possible answer: As a young woman, she felt ashamed.

Shame follows us down long dark corridors, sometimes barely lingering behind a closed closet door, rearing its ugly head when the name of the person who assaulted you gets brought up in conversation some twenty years later at your high school reunion.

Shame threatens to distract your conversation when you talk to your teenage son about how he is to treat every girl he encounters with dignity and respect, teaching him that, “NO means NO, NO never means YES!”

It is quite possible that, after sorting through a sexual assault incident she shared with her therapist and husband years ago, Dr. Ford would not let the threat of Shame back her into a corner, to be silenced. Our adult selves have a way of overcoming shame that our younger selves could not.

Even beyond dealing with shame at a young age, coming forward with an allegation like this is plain scary, especially for a teenager. Attorney Holly McAfee says it best: “The nature of a victim’s experience, and the costs of coming forward often make it a very difficult thing for a true victim to gather the courage to do. This is not to say that every person who makes an allegation is being truthful, of course not. But to say that only those who report immediately should be believed, or that a delayed report is inherently suspicious are both wrong and harmful to society.”

Judge Kavanaugh has a family — a devoted wife and two precious daughters. When I see images of him, surrounded by the women in his life, I have a hard time bringing up an event that happened over thirty years ago. Clearly he has worked diligently defending the statutes established by our Founding Fathers. He has committed his life’s work to seeking justice, to the best of his ability, in high profile court cases. A number of women, who have known him in different arenas over the last thirty-five years, have come together, Democrats and Republicans, to speak against the sexual assault allegations. Namely former Republican National Committee spokeswoman, Virginia Hume signed a letter confirming he “has always treated women with decency and respect.”

If he made a horrible mistake, as many teenagers are known for making, should that mistake be the focal point of the Judiciary Committee as they ascertain his present character?

Because let’s be honest. That is what this conversation is about. It is about Judge Kavanaugh’s character. Although the Senate Majority Leader, Senator McConnell, argues that Kavanaugh has proven himself “a stunningly successful individual…who will be on the United States Supreme Court,” the fact of the matter is this. This is a character battle.

So, if this is a character battle, all that we can do is follow the proceedings and assess, as best as we can, what we believe is true.

We are mothers who are leading our children to embody good character. Respect, integrity, honor, and unselfish love pepper the messages we teach our children everyday. We spend a great deal of our emotional and physical energy instructing our kids how to embrace conflict and see the best in people, even when the circumstances are troublesome.

Every mom needs to follow the Ford-Kavanaugh testimonies. The proceedings of last week will be pivotal, and we need to be aware of how this conversation about character plays out. We have a responsibility to teach good character to the next generation. It affects our families, our homes, our communities, and the courtrooms that influence the laws under which we reside.

We choose not to pray for a conservative or liberal victory. We choose not to pray for slander, disgrace, and for “our side” to win.

Instead, we choose to pray that truth will preside over dishonesty. We pray that justice will preside over fear. We pray that courage will preside over shame.


A version of this piece originally appeared on www.juleetacharvey.com, published with permission. 

Juleeta Harvey
Juleeta Harveyhttps://www.bodytruth.org/
I'm Juleeta C. Harvey - pursuer of the living Jesus, encourager to my man and our five boys, and writer of body image truth. Find me writing at www.bodytruth.org.

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