Christine Blasey Ford Was Only 15 When She Says Brett Kavanaugh Attacked Her

She Was 15 Years Old

She couldn't drive. She couldn't vote. She was a child.

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The minute you type US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's name into Google, an overflow of articles reaches you. Articles supporting him, and articles denouncing him. However, all of these articles center around one particular issue — sexual assault.

Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by a woman when he was 17 years old. More women are coming forward about Mr. Kavanaugh and his indiscretions. Christine Blasey Ford is the woman who first came forward about Mr. Kavanaugh. She is a college professor, and she is alleging that this took place when she was only 15 years old.

Let me just repeat that. She was 15 years old. She couldn't drive. She couldn't vote. She was a child. She was just starting high school. I don't know about you, but when I was 15, all I wanted to do was listen to "15" by Taylor Swift and watch "Pretty Little Liars."

Now, with all the articles out there, we have learned a lot about these two individuals' lives, but I hear people crying out for why it took so long for her to come forward about it.

She was 15.

Since when do 15-year-olds have the mental capacity to discern what they should do after a trauma happens to them? Grown adults, who have fully matured and whose brains have reached full maturity, cannot come to terms with this sometimes. It is a coping mechanism to try and act like it didn't happen because of all the personal negative feelings about what happened. Even without developing posttraumatic stress disorder or anxiety, coping is extremely hard.

She was 15.

The stigmas surrounding reporting a sexual assault are real, and they are incredibly difficult to overcome in order to receive justice for yourself. Being labeled a "whore" or even a "lying whore" is terrible to have to go through. Things such as, "Well, she deserved it," or, "Did you see how she was acting beforehand? I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner," all contribute to a young girl not wanting to come forward with such a heinous act.

She was 15.

The boys in high school when I was 15 were non-stop cracking sex jokes left and right. Most of them in good fun, but the occasional rape joke would jump in there. And no one cared! We were young, and we didn't really know what that word meant. We didn't know it could do harm. But these jokes also trivialized what the rape survivor had to go through. If what happened to that 15-year-old girl would only become a line in a joke, why should she come forward about it?

Even now as she has come out about it, I have seen numerous rape/sexual assault jokes happening on social media and people laughing at the posts. The posts going viral on Twitter and Facebook are gaining popularity as people joke about how Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a respected and beloved female Justice on the United States Supreme Court, said, "Abraham Lincoln grabbed my ass in 1862."

It made me sick.

How could sexual assault be funny? Because sexual assault happening is so incredibly outrageous that making jokes about it is the only way to handle it? What was the mindset behind posting that? That it would make Brett Kavanaugh's accusation seem incredulous because it happened 35 years ago? That it would make it seem incredulous because of the timing of the accusation?

SHE WAS 15.

It takes years to come to terms with sexual assault and be able to move past it. Once you've come to terms with it, you never want to have to deal with that again. You never want to have to be triggered again. You never want to have even the slightest memories of what happened. You never want to see their face, anywhere, again. However, there the face is before you, in a position that will not only prolong your pain but can bring so much more pain to others in that position of power.

The school Kavanaugh attended was an elite school for individuals who would become powerful men in Washington. I didn't come forward about a rape by someone who I believed to be respected by many individuals. Kavanaugh was, and is, someone who has a lot of power, politically or otherwise. The fear of backlash, of retaliation, of being ruined, must have been running through Christine Blasey's veins so much that it just integrated into her DNA.

After a while, it seems silly to bring up what happened years ago. The damage has already been done, and the process of going through hearings and trials and interviews and god-knows-what-else only makes living harder. It only makes continuing on harder. It only makes wanting to find justice for yourself harder. Which it shouldn't, but nevertheless does. Why bring it up and cause yourself more and more pain?

Fear.

Fear so strong it paralyzes you to go on. Fear that others will have to deal with the same things that you have had, and they will not be heard either. Ford is overcoming that fear and calling attention to the fact that a man who is set to receive one of the highest honors of our nation has taken away one person's being, what makes that person them.

No one wants to talk about this after it happens. Only a select few will know the specifics, as the more people that know the more you have to talk about it and bring up the night that frightens every waking and sleeping moment.

She was 15. Don't forget that.

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47 Things All Female Athletes Have Said

Yes, I know I am sweating a lot. No, I do not enjoy practices. Yes, I have said all 47 of these.
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Whether you're a collegiate athlete, or a high school one, you have probably found yourself saying most of these phrases. Us athletes know that the athlete life isn't for everyone, and we often find ourselves questioning if it's still for us. So, this is for all my fellow athletes.

All my fellow athletes who know the struggle is undoubtedly real, and who find themselves saying these 47 phrases almost as often as I do.

* * *

1. Do you have an extra hair tie?

2. What if we just said no? What if we just didn't run when the whistle is blown?

3. I, like, really, am not feeling practice today.

4. Do these pants make my quads look big?

5. Are you going to eat before or after practice?

6. I'm so sore.

7. Want to get McDonald's after practice?

8. Did you see that she wore makeup to a preseason practice?

9. I actually looked like a girl today.

10. I wonder what college would be like if I wasn't an athlete.

11. We're up before the sun way too often.

12. Is it gross if I don't shower after weights?

13. How hard do you think practice will be today?

14. Coach is literally crazy.

15. I ate like 20 minutes ago, so there's a 50% chance I puke during this practice.

16. I'm not going to drink the protein shake they gave us because it's going to make me gain weight.

17. I think my legs are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

18. I think my arms are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

19. Today in class a non-athlete was talking about how busy her schedule is. It was so annoying.

20. Thinking about preseason makes me want to cry.

21. Is it even healthy for us to have this many practices in one day?

22. I'll be right back, I'm having PGD (pre-game dumps).

23. I think I'm going to throw up.

24. I should have worked out more on my own.

25. How do other girls have the energy to put makeup on for class every day?

26. My legs are dead.

27. Why did we think being a college athlete was a good idea?

28. Do you think coach will be mad if I have to go pee?

29. I think I peed my pants a little bit during conditioning.

30. Should I wear my hair in a pony-tail, or in a bun?

31. I should probably start eating healthy soon.

32. Only six more practices until the weekend, we can do this.

33. I'd rather be sore for a week straight than climb into this ice bath.

34. They might have beat us, but at least we're still pretty.

35. I can't wait to celebrate our win this weekend.

36. How many hours of sleep did you get? I got 6, it was crazy, I feel so refreshed.

37. I look like such a boy right now.

38. Will you braid my hair?

39. That referee totally rigged the game. We should have won.

40. I think I'd hate being a reg (regular student).

41. It's OK if I eat this since we had conditioning this morning, right?

42. If you're not doing homework, get off the bus Wi-Fi, everybody.

43. These pants fit my legs perfectly but are huge on my waist.

44. I smell so bad right now that I can smell myself.

45. I bet my grades would be so much better if I wasn't an athlete.

46. Coach only gave us, like, one water break during practice. It was horrible.

47. I am so happy that I'm an athlete.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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​'When They See Us' Is The Tough Show Nobody Wants To Watch But Everyone Needs To

Justice was not served.

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Netflix just released a limited series called "When They See Us." The series is based on the Central Park Five. The Central Park Five were five young boys who were convicted of raping a woman jogging in Central Park on April 19, 1989. These young boys did not commit the crime they were convicted of though, they were set up by the prosecutor on the case, Linda Fairstein, along with her fellow detectives.

On April 19, 1989, a huge group of boys went out to Central Park one night "wilding." Cops came and arrested a bunch of the boys who were out. Linda Fairstein came to the scene where the rape happened, with the women attacked hanging on for her life. When Fairstein got to the precinct, immediately she said the boys in the park were the perpetrators. She had the police go out into the neighborhoods and find every young, black/Hispanic male who fit a description they drew up and brought them in for questioning.

What the detectives then did was extremely illegal.

They questioned these 14, 15 and 16-year-old boys without their parents. These boys were minors. These detectives took these boys in the rooms for questioning and started to plot a story in their head, making them say they committed the horrific crime. The boys were saying it wasn't them but the detectives would not let down. They started beating the kids until they "admitted" to this act of rape. One of the boys, Antron McCray, was with his mom and dad when they started to question him. Kevin Richardson was questioned without his mom until his sister came and was basically forced to sign the statement the detectives wrote for him so he could go home.

Yusef Salaam's mother came and got her son just before he signed his Miranda rights away. Raymond Santana was coerced by detectives for hours and hours, along with the others. Korey Wise, who was not in the police's interest at first, was taken and beaten by a detective until he agreed to the story they drew up. These boys didn't even know each other, except Yusef and Korey, and were pinning the crimes on one another because they were forced.

Donald Trump was even supportive of bringing back the death penalty for this case. He wanted the death penalty for five teenage boys. Teenagers. The boys were barely in high school and were being attacked with the death penalty.

At the trial, the lead prosecutor, Elizabeth Lederer, called in the victim of the attack, Trisha Meili. Meili had no recollection of the night after being in a coma for several days. The DNA evidence that was presented at trial did not match any of the defendants. There were no eyewitnesses. They showed the recordings of the interviews of the boys, but they were forced into telling false stories, which none of were merely similar. The case had no supporting evidence whatsoever. But the jury still convicted all five boys, who had to serve out their sentences.

The charges were exonerated in 2002 after the real rapist confessed. But exoneration does not make up for what these young boys had to go through. They were tried as adults at the ages of 14, 15 and 16. Korey Wise was in a maximum security prison at the age of 16. These boys went through something they should have never gone through at such a young age. There was no justice served for the boys or the victim. The detectives pinned a crime on five innocent young boys. These boys had been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of actually working to find the real rapist, Linda Fairstein pinned it on five boys and did not do anything by the book while the boys were in question.

The show has brought back outcries about the case, even causing Linda Fairstein to step down from her charity boards. Our justice system still isn't what it should be today, and this show helps with showing us that.

The Netflix series shines a light on the racism of these detectives and the injustice that was served. Ava DuVernay did a tremendous job with this show. It is moving. The four episodes are very hard to watch, but it is so important that you do.

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