Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who testified that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers, issued a rare public statement, thanking her supporters.
“Your tremendous outpouring of support and kind letters have made it possible for us to cope with the immeasurable stress, particularly the disruption to our safety and privacy. Because of your support, I feel hopeful that our lives will return to normal,” Dr. Ford wrote on a GoFundMe page set up on behalf of the Ford family to cover security costs.
Ford went on to explain that she was closing the site to any further donations and that all excess funds raised would be donated to organisations that support trauma survivors. The crowdfunding page was originally set up with a goal of $150,000 — at the time of her statement it had raised $647,610.
But despite the backlash, many survivors, including Busy Philipps and Padma Lakshi were inspired by Dr. Ford and shared their own stories of sexual assault and trauma.
In an Instagram post, Philipps revealed she was raped when she was 14 years old and wrote, "Today is the day we are silent no more. All of us. I'm scared to post this. I can't imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now."
The RAINN hotline saw a 338% increase in traffic during Ford's testimony as other survivors of sexual assault sought help and spoke about their trauma.
Addressing the upheaval her testimony created in her own life Dr. Ford wrote in her statement, "Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty. Having done so, I am in awe of the many women and men who have written me to share similar life experiences, and now have bravely shared their experience with friends and family, many for the first time."