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Here’s How People Are Coming Together To Support Brett Kavanaugh’s Accusers After They Came Forward

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The United States has experienced a very emotional time during Supreme Court hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. Victims of sexual assault watched as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford went before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to tell her story. Dr. Ford spoke calmly and consistently about how Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her one summer in high school. All this just days after Deborah Ramirez’s account of Kavanaugh exposing himself to her in their first year at Yale University.

While the Republican majority Senate plans to vote Kavanaugh in as the next lifetime-long Supreme Court Justice, many Latino Senators have showed their support for Dr. Ford, alongside some celebrities. Here’s the highlight reel of what you missed at the hearing and the major players involved.

Disclaimer: the details of her assault can be triggering. Please proceed with caution.

“I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”

CREDIT: @onespinal / Instagram

While three women have laid serious sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford is the only woman who has consented to go before the Senate in a nationally televised court setting to share her harrowing, intimate story.

Ford details the incident during which Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, shove her into a bedroom, pinned her to the bed and tried to rip off her clothes. She tried screaming for help, but he put the weight of his hand over her mouth.

“It was hard for me to breathe and I believed that Brett was going to accidentally kill me,” she said.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham repeatedly dismissed Ford’s claims and then had an aoutburst of emotion defending Kavanaugh.

CREDIT: @NRO / Twitter

He didn’t even question Kavanaugh. He just railed on his defense and said, “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics,” and that Ford was “just as much of a victim as you [Kavanaugh] are.”

Dr. Ford openly shared that she has no political motives and is putting herself at risk to share her story.

CREDIT: @THR / Twitter

Her and her family have been receiving death threats that have “rocked [her] to [her] core.”

“I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives,” she said. “Those who say that do not know me. I am a fiercely independent person, and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take that into serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed.”

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh crossed the line of indignation and appeared angry.

CREDIT: @tictoc / Twitter

“This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” Kavanaugh said in his tearful and resentful opening statement. “The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.”

When asked about his high school and college reputation of being a drunk and a partier, his actual soundbite was, “I liked beer. I still like beer. Do you like beer, Senator?”

Dr. Ford passed a polygraph test while Kavanaugh said they’re “not much use.”

CREDIT: @thehill / Twitter

At the end of the hearing, Senator Kamala Harris asked Kavanaugh if he would submit to a polygraph test. He said he would, but that it would be inadmissible. Just two years ago, Judge Kavanaugh wrote an opinion article that detailed how polygraph examinations are “an important law enforcement tool.”

Democratic Senators failed to ask about Deborah Ramirez’ claims against Kavanaugh.

CREDIT: @LifeNewsHQ / Twitter

Ramirez currently lives in Boulder Colorado, but was raised in a Catholic Puerto Rican household in Connecticut. Ramirez tells the The New Yorker that she was invited to a party as a Yale freshman where you sit in a circle and people pick who has to drink. She was targeted and quickly became so drunk, she was on the floor, “foggy and slurring her words.”

“I remember a penis being in front of my face.”

CREDIT: @prosemund4 / Twitter

Other students were laughing and telling her to “kiss it.” She was raised as a devout Catholic and was planning to only have sex within marriage. Then she remembers Brett pulling his pants up and laughing. Then, she heard someone yelling, “Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.”

She remembers feeling mortified.

Both Ramirez and Ford are asking that the FBI reopen their investigation into Brett Kavanaugh.

CREDIT: @CNNPolitics / Twitter

The vetting process took place before any allegations were brought up. While these women will never forget what happened to them, up until very recently, we have lived in a culture of shame around being sexually assaulted. Rape culture blames the victim, doubts the victim, questions the victim’s memory and credibility.

READ MORE: Sen. Jeff Flake Called For An FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh After Two Latinas Confronted Him With Their Stories.

More than 2,200 Yale women have signed a letter of support for Ms. Ramirez.

CREDIT: @dailycamera / Twitter

Someone paid for this banner to fly over Boulder, Colorado, where Ramirez lives, and where she hasn’t left her home since the story broke. Ramirez first started leaving pieces of paper on her trash that said, “no comment” and “no trespassing.”

Today, it reads, “Please demand an FBI investigation for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez’s claims.”

Several Republicans have made it known that sexual assault claims are non-partisan.

CREDIT: @ananavarro / Twitter

Including Ana Navarro, the famous Nicaraguan-born American Republican strategist and political commentator, who says, “Every American -every Senator- listening to Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford testimony today, should remember, this is not about ideology. It’s not about wanting or not wanting a Conservative on Court. That’s a different issue. This is about right & wrong. It’s about fitness of character.”

Our hearts grow bigger for these celebrities who are speaking out in support of Ford:

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Twitter

Gina Rodriguez put it simply, “I believe you.”

As Senators from both sides asked how Ford was so sure it was Kavanaugh, she replied in the way only a survivor and Ph.D in psychology could: “It’s just basic memory functions, and also just the level of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain that sort of -as you know- encodes; that neurotransmitter encodes that trauma into the hippocampus. And so the trauma-related experience is kind of locked there while other details kind of drift.”

Eva Longoria joined other celebrities in a video PSA.

CREDIT: @evalongoria / Instagram

In the PSA, her along with Julie Michaels, America Ferrera, and many others all read aloud, “Dear Professor Ford, we know how difficult it is to stand up to powerful people. We want to thank you for publicly sharing your story of sexual violence. As members of the Senate determine whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should serve as a Supreme Court Justice, this context is critical.

The behavior you described was wrong and runs directly counter to upholding the law and promoting justice. He should not be confirmed… We believe you.”

“One Day at a Time” star, Justina Machado points out the stark contrast between how we treat 17-year-old white boys and brown toddlers in America.

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Instagram

She retweeted Erika Andiola’s poignant truth, “In Trump’s America, a 17-year-old privileged, white teenage boy can’t be held accountable for sexually abusing teenage girls, but toddlers brought to America are detained, held in cages and expected to defend themselves in immigration court. Think about it.”

Sara Ramirez live tweeted the whole hearing process.

CREDIT: @sararamirez / Instagram

You know she was watching from her home and retweeting action plans and opinions about Kavanaugh’s emotional outbursts like, “He’s crying because his whiteness, his maleness, his PRIVILEGE, his ‘promised’ perfect future is being questioned, and society never prepared him for failure or for facing the consequences of his actions.”

Meanwhile, two of the four Latino Senators in office made their allegiances clear.

CREDIT: @SenatorMenendez / Twitter

Caption: “Searing. Powerful. Brave. The details of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony are heart-wrenching to hear. I hope every single Senator not only watches, but listens. Thank you Dr. Ford for your courage. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord”

Cuban-American Menendez called out the GOP for funneling their questions through an outside party prosecutor.

CREDIT: @SenatorMenendez / Twitter

Senator Menendez of New Jersey was sensitive to what this hearings meant for his constituents. He retweeted RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) with this message:

“1.8 million survivors of sexual violence live in NJ, and watching or hearing about this testimony can be triggering. Survivors need to know, you are not alone. I encourage anyone seeking help to start here.”

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is the other half of the Democratic Latinos in the Senate that supports Dr. Ford’s wish.

CREDIT: @SenCortezMasto / Twitter

Over and over again, senators asked Kavanaugh to ask the President and the FBI to investigate the claims to clear his name and allow the proceedings to go on. Several witnesses of the assaults of Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Swetnick have not been interviewed.

Swetnick’s attorney posted a statement that Swetnick witnessed Kavanaugh lining up outside a bedroom door where “numerous boys” were “waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.” Swetnick was raped at one of the parties and believed she was drugged.

Republican Marco Rubio previously supported Kavanaugh but now claims to have his hesitations.

CREDIT: @marcorubiofla / Instagram

Politico asked Marco Rubio if he maintains his yet vote and he wavered, “I want to see what happens in the hearing on Thursday. I can only vote based on the information before me.”

Rubio is notorious for saying what his constituents and Americans want to hear but votes with his party consistently.

Activists rallied outside Rubio’s office against Kavanaugh.

CREDIT: @womensmarch / Twitter

While protests have organized all around the country, it’s important for locals to show up to their Senator’s office, especially if they’re undecided. I mean, it is Rubio’s job to represent his constituents.

There is going to be a weeklong pause as the FBI opens a “limited” investigation into Dr. Ford’s allegations.

CREDIT: @americaferrera / Instagram

The results of the probe could change the outcome of the vote for Kavanaugh. Only time will tell.


READ: Lawsuit Alleges That Cristiano Ronaldo Raped A Woman In 2009 In Las Vegas

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Jeff Flake Called For An FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh After Two Latinas Confronted Him With Their Stories

Politics

Jeff Flake Called For An FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh After Two Latinas Confronted Him With Their Stories

Since Dr. Ford came forward about her experience of sexual assault, women all over the country have been forced to vicariously relive their own experiences of sexual violence. In solidarity with the bravery of Dr. Ford, and second accuser Deborah Ramirez, the collective consciousness of women survivors have reared its head, and many women are sharing their stories.

I have my own story. Two Latina survivors went viral recently after cornering Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator and demanding his attention. They had never told their story before and their raw emotion in the video got the attention of millions of Americans and Sen. Flake. Here’s how things went down.

Jeff Flake mattered because he was undecided until moments before the Senate hearing vote.

CREDIT: @jfoosg / Twitter

Flake had already announced that he was retiring because he felt bipartisanship in the Senate was lacking and disrupting the ability to get any work done. He isn’t vying for Republican votes, therefore, he’s a bit of a wild card.

He was also the only Republican Senator on the Judiciary committee, which determines whether or not a nominee advances to the full Senate for a vote, who was undecided.

Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher met just minutes before their now infamous elevator encounter with Sen. Flake.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

Archila had been showing up to protest Kavanaugh every day since the allegations came out. Gallagher is a 23 year old recent Northeastern University graduate who impulsively showed up to his office. The two had a common goal and quickly met it together.

Moments before the hearing, Sen. Flake published a statement that he would vote yes on Kavanaugh.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadNY / Twitter

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Archila said, “I had gone to his office because I thought that he might be willing to take a step beyond his party.” In a sense, he was the only shot anyone had of ensuring due process would be had to investigate Dr. Ford and other accuser’s claims before a Senate vote.

Just after the two read his statement, they heard him coming down the elevator and were filled with rage.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

In one momentous emotional impulse, Archila told the world what came over her: “All of the emotions we had been holding for the last several weeks just came out pouring. He needed to understand that women feel incredibly enraged about the thought of our stories of surviving sexual violence being dismissed, laughed at, disbelieved. I felt a great sense of urgency.”

Gallagher spoke through tears for the very first time of her sexual assault.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

Reportedly, Gallagher’s own parents found out for the first time after the video went viral. She has not gone public about her experience, and has been respectfully private since the incident.

Sen. Flake kept averting his eyes from the women demanding answers and justice.

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

But Gallagher wouldn’t have it. “Don’t look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies.”

Preach.

Archila said, “He kept pressing the button in the elevator to try to close the door.”

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

All Flake could do was respond with “sorry” and “thank you.” Unlike Ted Cruz, it seemed that Flake would receive these women’s experience. We’ve all known that Flake has struggled with his decision more than any other male Republican on the council, and perhaps what we saw was remorse for his decision.

“Do you think that he’s able to hold the pain of this country and repair it?”

CREDIT: @MaketheRoadAct / Twitter

She continued, “Do you think that he’s able to hold the pain of this country and repair it? That is the work of justice. The way that justice works is you recognize hurt, you take responsibility for it and then you begin to repair it.”

The two have since been hailed as heroes after Sen. Flake announced that he would vote yes on the condition of a one week FBI investigation, halting the proceedings.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

Flake himself has said that his experience in the elevator truly made him believe that these hearings were “ripping our country apart.” From the elevator, he walked straight into the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting and spoke with his friend, Senator Coons about his moral dilemma.

Behind closed doors, Coons then gathered more Democratic senators to join them, and soon enough, it became a private meeting of the entire committee seeking to sway Sen. Flake.

Folks have responded with unending support for la Marias that demand justice.

CREDIT: @eltarantula10 / Twitter

The last time a Supreme Court nominee was accused of sexual harassment, the Senate essentially ignored Anita Hill’s experience of inappropriate behavior from Clarence Thomas, who still sits on the Supreme Court today.

Flake has given women hope that we will be heard. Men can no longer get away with subverting women’s dignity for their own pleasure, without consequence.

Maria Gallagher has given the world one message since: take care of yourself.

CREDIT: @mgallagher822 / Twitter

Before Sen. Flake even shared his vote, she tweeted “I feel relieved that @JeffFlake seems to have heard my and @AnaMariaArchil2’s voices in the Senate elevator today. We absolutely need an FBI investigation and for him and all Senators to vote NO. #StopKavanaugh”

Thank you, Maria. Thank you for your courage.

Ann Coulter, on the other hand, did what she does and tried dismissing the moment.

CREDIT: @AnnCoulter / Twitter

It should be more upsetting to hear someone say things like this about immigrants. However, Coulter has built her career by hating immigrants and spreading lies to defame an entire community.

Archila legally emigrated from Colombia when she was 17 years old.

CREDIT: @NYDailyNews / Twitter

Today, she serves as the Co-Executive Director of non-profit Center for Popular Democracy, where she pushes for racial and economic justice alongside immigrant rights. For the last 13 years, Archila helped transform the once “Latin American Integration Center” into the “Make the Road New York” available to all low-income immigrants that come to the U.S.

She is a hugely successful activist and lobbyist for labor laws and immigrant rights.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

In her bio for Popular Democracy, we know that Archila has helped “put millions of dollars in the pockets of low-wage workers by winning increases to the minimum wage, paid sick days, and strong protections from wage-theft; and they have led the ambitious campaigns to win public policies that make New York City one of the leading Sanctuary Cities in the country.”

Archila stands and fights for Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

She is intimately plugged into the conflicts that continue to arise in Puerto Rico, from the recent incident of police pepper spraying peaceful activists, and the continued lapses in aide after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Archila experienced sexual violence when she was just 5 years old.

CREDIT: @AnaMariaArchil2 / Twitter

It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, once a woman has been assaulted, it stays in her consciousness forever. There’s truly no going back. You heal, but you never recover.

She had to tell her story, because our stories matter. Thankfully, they mattered to Flake. The New Yorker reported that after leaving the elevator, Flake “looked more withdrawn than ever, eyes wet, voice a little frayed, chin tucked down in the somber knot of his tie.”

Since then, Archila has been outspoken demanding a woman’s basic right to be heard.

CREDIT: @AC360 / Twitter

“I was so enraged that all these men in the Senate Judiciary Committee basically forced a woman to tell the story of the most traumatizing experience of her life and then proceeded to say, ‘Well thats fine we still like our guy.’ I just could not believe that was happening and really I wanted Senator Flake to look me in the eye and feel my pain and rage, and really it was the pain and rage of women across the country who could not believe this was still happening today.”

She wants you to help.

CREDIT: @senatorcollins @lisamurkowski / Twitter

If you have money: Donate alongside hundreds of others who have raised over $27k to the Center for Popular Democracy to help fund other survivors’ to tell their stories (i.e. transportation costs, etc.).

If you would rather share a story: “People across this country should take the opportunity to continue to share their stories, especially with @SenatorCollins and @LisaMurkowski: they must listen to our voices, look us in the eye, and #BeAHero.”

No matter what, remember how your Senators voted and vote this November.

CREDIT: @womensmarch / Twitter

In an interview with The New York Times, Archila shared her favorite literary sentence, “We cannot understand slavery or any great injustice by thinking about the masses. We have to think about it in the experience of one person.” She went on to ask, “What was this enslaved woman thinking when she woke up in the morning. Who did she miss that morning? Who did she talk to when she felt sad? How did she feel when her child was stolen from her? We have to think about…and especially the people who are creating laws in our country… have to think about the impact of their decisions by thinking about one person. How is that one person going to be shaped by me?”

Your vote matters. Make it count.


READ: Here’s How People Are Coming Together To Support Brett Kavanaugh’s Accusers After They Came Forward

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