Is there justice in America?
Is there any justice for the victims of sexual assault when the person they accuse is in a position of power and back by a political power?
Currently, one of the most argued decisions, made by the US Senate, was the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as President Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court, whose allegations of sexual assault against him begs for the question where is the justice.
Before the allegations of sexual assault come to light, most of the Republican senators had already backed Judge Kavanaugh so that they could swing the Supreme Court more toward right-wing ideology.
In the following aftermath of these allegations, Kavanaugh was still able to receive confirmation, Republicans still backed him and yet there was no justice being done for the women who bravely came forth with their stories.
Dr. Christine Ford, Psychology professor at Palo Alto University, came forward as one of many accusers and testified before the Senate committee telling her story.
“I am here today not because I want to be. 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,” said Ford at the beginning of her testimony.
Although some were quick to defend Kavanaugh, disbelieving Ford’s testimony, others took to protesting outside the senate asking for justice because in their eyes, and in the eyes of many Americans, there was none to be seen.
Ford’s testimony surrounded a night that she had gone to a party during the summer of 1982 where she encountered Kavanaugh, of who she claimed was “visibly drunk” in her statement. The scene in which she described is horrific and disturbing, the content scarred in her memory.
Ford recalled the summer evening, ascending a narrow staircase, getting pushed from behind into a bedroom, and accusing Kavanaugh of being one of the men in the bedroom who locked the door and the rest will be described in Ford’s own words.
“I was pushed onto the bed, and Brett (Kavanaugh) got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding into me. I yelled, hoping that someone downstairs might hear me, and I tired to get away from him, but his weight was heavy,” Ford said.
The point of this article is not to dredge up any traumatic experiences anyone has faced, however, it is important to understand that having the strength that Ford had to face the man she is accusing and share her story with the world is where we need to start forming justice for those who have either been in that situation, are in that situation, or have had worse.
“Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes,” “I believed he was going to rape me,” “I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from yelling. This is what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” were statements made Ford said during her testimony.
Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a crucial swing senator is the vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, after stating that he supported Kavanaugh before the allegations came to light, called for an investigation, which was handled by the FBI, ito the allegation against Kavanaugh.
The investigation, which was suppose to be a week long, only took the FBI five days leading many to believe that the investigation was either hurried, not done properly, fixed, or blocked by legality. According to the FBI, they were not allowed to interview Judge Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford, or any of the people who supported the victims claims to Kavanaugh’s behavior.
Sen. Mazie Hirono,D., is part of the senate judiciary committee said, “This so-called investigation is a sham. It is a fig leaf for the Republicans to hide behind.”
The fact of the matter is that even at the highest level of our government, politics gets in the way of allowing justice to take its course. Politicians are allowing their own selfish greed for power to blind them from the fact that, even though it was not proven, someone could get away with allegations of sexual assault then be let into the highest court, the Supreme Court.
This is not justice, this is politics at its finest. We, the people, were promised an unhinged investigation, allowing the FBI to interview whomever they saw fit, yet this was not the case.
How can we begin to trust a government who looks the other way when it comes to the topic of sexual assault allegations? Why does it seem that all people in power can get away with such allegations as long as they side with the right political party? Is it a government by the people, for the people or is it a government by the government for all the power?
According to Rainn.org, “one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime” and “as of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.”
Once again, the idea of this article is not to side with any political party or agenda but is to ask for the common decency of people to look past the politics and to take these allegations seriously. Although many believe that most accusations of secual assault, rape, are false claims, read an article done by Katie Heaney titled “Almost no on is falsely accused of rape” written for The Cut.
As for students at NCC, we have Title IX, discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct policy, coordinator Brett Last who can be reached by email BLast@nullnorthampton.edu and by phone (610) 861-5460. In the Lehigh and Northampton counties, the Crime Victims Council provides services and support for victims of all violence and can be contact at (610) 437-6611.