It really breaks my heart that there are men close to me, that I have looked up to for years as protectors, who believe Brett Kavanaugh over Dr. Christine Ford. It's not political anymore, not even remotely. It's not about him getting on the supreme court or not; that doesn't matter to me at this point. It's the fact that there are men in my life who would choose to not believe me if I were sexually assaulted, and would choose to defend my assaulter instead. It is terrifying to know that there are men in my life who would call me a liar or tell me that I'm not attractive enough to sexually assault - as if it's a privilege. Knowing that there are men I once saw as father figures who wouldn't believe me, or defend me if I were sexually assaulted - that's what's scaring women about this situation. This is my letter to those men.

I understand the need for a fair trial. I understand the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." I am unopposed to the fair investigation of both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Frankly, I support it. But yes, I do believe Dr. Ford. Trauma affects everyone differently. Just because she's coming out with her story years later doesn't mean that she is a liar. There are multiple sexual assault testimonies and reports I haven't given about people in my life that I will probably never give. However, if one of my assaulters was to run for the supreme court in 30 years, I would do exactly what Dr. Ford has done.

I understand that you have the freedom to choose who to believe and support and that a conclusion hasn't officially been declared as to who is telling the truth. However, along those same lines - if you choose to support Judge Kavanaugh over Dr. Ford, you are sending a message to the women in your life that it is easier to assume the innocence of an assaulter than it is to hold a man accountable for his possible actions. I don't understand what is so wrong about not believing Kavanaugh right off the bat. Just because someone says "no, I didn't do it" (or in Kavanaugh's case, throws a temper tantrum) doesn't mean they didn't do it.

Much deeper than that, choosing to believe Kavanaugh when there is a fair amount of evidence to accuse him is blind, ignorant, and an inconsiderate lack of judgment. I would really love to know what Dr. Ford's motivation in falsely accusing Kavanaugh could possibly be. Because I can assure you, I wouldn't want my assaulter on the supreme court either. I wouldn't go out of my way to accuse and testify against a man who didn't assault me just to ruin his life. Most women would say the same.

And to the men who think that alcohol changes this situation - it doesn't. Sexual assault is sexual assault. By legal definition, having sex with someone who is under the influence is rape because they physically cannot consent. Even if they say yes, that decision is influenced by alcohol. It. Is. Rape. I know that Dr. Ford did not accuse Kavanaugh of rape, but sexual assault is just as bad. What is worse is that Dr. Ford was both under the influence AND didn't give consent. That makes twice as bad of a case for Kavanaugh. To the men who say that Dr. Ford shouldn't have drunk so much, that maybe she wouldn't have been assaulted if she hadn't been drunk - you just don't get it. I have been sexually abused while sober more times than I can count. It wasn't my fault. The same goes for Dr. Ford. Was she too drunk to stand? Too drunk to form coherent sentences? So what. Too drunk to defend herself? She shouldn't have had to. A woman's drunkenness is NOT an excuse or a reason for a man to sexually assault her. That is a man's conscious decision. HIS drunkenness is to blame. It's like a car. Leaving your car unlocked, while it is advised against, is not the same as asking someone to steal your car or the personal belongings inside of it. That is the robber's choice. Being drunk is not asking for sexual assault. That is the assaulter's choice alone.

Beyond choosing to believe Kavanaugh and choosing to blame Dr. Ford for being drunk, choosing to ridicule and mock Dr. Ford during what is probably the hardest time of her life is heartless, cruel, and disgusting. Posting on social media about her not being "attractive enough to assault" or how she is "crucifying Kavanaugh" is truly awful. Saying that you're "afraid to be around women now" because they could accuse you of sexual assault means that you are the kind of man who would sexually assault a woman. If you aren't an assaulter or a rapist, why does Dr. Ford's testimony scare you so much? I don't know a single woman that would intentionally, falsely accuse a man of sexual assault just to watch his downfall. I really don't. If you're afraid that a woman is going to accuse you of sexual assault, it means you are the kind of man who would commit it.

And to those who whine about this ending Kavanaugh's career or his life - how do you think Dr. Ford feels? The trauma of sexual assault haunts you forever. If she's telling the truth and being transparent with her evidence - she's done her suffering and she's ready for a change. If that comes at Kavanaugh's expense, that's his own fault for choosing to sexually assault someone.

Now, I know that "believe all women" is not an effective way to approach accusations of sexual assault or rape. It's flippant and ignorant. But when it comes to Dr. Ford, I do take her at her word. She has verbally recounted the events practically perfectly, and many men who knew Kavanaugh in college have vouched for her and said that they wouldn't doubt the assault taking place based on who Kavanaugh was. Just because Judge Kavanaugh is older now doesn't mean that he shouldn't face the consequences of his actions, either. If he didn't face them when he assaulted Dr. Ford, he can face them now. He doesn't deserve a supreme court position and to give him one is a massive slap in the face to sexual assault survivors in our country.