Last night, a few hours after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Senate hearing ended, actress Jemima Kirke tweeted that she is "hugely grateful to this woman today," with the hashtag #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord. In the tweet, she revealed that she was raped by her drug dealer when she was 22 years old.
After the incident, Kirke says she went to the hospital to get tested, and a doctor told her, "You gotta start looking after yourself," she wrote. "I believed what he meant was, 'This could have been prevented if you weren't hanging out with a drug dealer.' It would seem that the responsibility was on me and for this reason I didn't tell anyone and didn't report it."
In Dr. Ford's opening statement, she said that she was ashamed and afraid to tell people about the details of what Kavanaugh had done to her when she was a teenager. "I did not want to tell my parents that I, at age 15, was in a house without any parents present, drinking beer with boys," she said. Similarly, Kirke wrote, "I was ashamed because I believed that what had happened to me was a result of having very little self worth, that this is what happens to drug addicts," she wrote. "This is wrong."
Kirke, who has been open about her history with substance abuse and recovery, wrote that, "My rape had nothing to do with my choices. Drug dealers don't rape people any more than a family man does." Even throughout rehab, she says no one near to her attempted to correct this misconception. "Fuck anyone who meant well but told me to look at this 'as a sign' that I needed help," she wrote.
Kirke is not the only public figure who was inspired to share their own story about sexual assault in response to Dr. Ford. On Tuesday, Padma Lakshmi wrote an op-ed for The New York Times stating that she was raped when she was 23 years old. Yesterday, Busy Philipps revealed she was raped when she was 14. And earlier today, actress Jodie Sweetin shared an Instagram post explaining that she saw her own sexual assault experience reflected in Dr. Ford's testimony.
The discussions prompted by the news this week are a reminder of how widespread sexual assault is. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 out of every 6 American women has experienced attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. At the end of her tweet, Kirke, who has two children, shared a message about her daughter. "It is likely that my daughter will one day be sexually assaulted," she wrote. "I can't prevent that. She can't prevent that. But no matter what the circumstances, it won't be her fault."
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.