I’ve stood by, for nearly a year since the #metoo movement went viral and for the years after my assaults, silent. Because why, at this point in my life—when I’ve found happiness, peace, love and support—would I want to drum up the anxiety, blame, and hate so closely associated with pointing the sexual assault finger?
I’ve read and heard the comments about other women who have revealed their sexual assaults, and because of this, I’ve only shared incomplete accounts of my assaults with family members. I would not like to be the target of further harassment.
I have always been known to be strong-willed, opinionated, frank and honest, so much so that it elicits discomfort from people. You would not think that I would ever be able to be assaulted. And I’m embarrassed to have to admit that I have been. I’ve covered up these treacherous situations with light-hearted social media posts, giving a glimpse into the short-lived good times I was having before my assaults or sharing only the interesting, positive or sought-after social situations I was seemingly gifted by this person.
Our relationships began as what I believed to be a friendship. This person was going to support me. He enjoyed my intelligence and wit. He told me so. He told me I was special. He claimed we were both introverts and that I was the only one who understood him. I thought I had connected with someone. He told me that he could be vulnerable with me. Only I could understand him. This man groomed me and wore me down for years, ignoring each decline of his advances. He hid his marriage from me. What had initially started out as a consenting relationship, evolved into unwanted harassments and assaults.
He put me in positions where the answer “no” was not an option, where my head had been shoved into a groin, where I was told that I really couldn’t come around without offering something up, that I shouldn’t have enjoyed that steak dinner without giving a blow-job. I’ve been lured onto balconies and cornered. I’ve shown up to events, excited to socialize, only to be pulled backstage or into a bathroom and quickly discarded thereafter. I’ve answered face-time calls to him masturbating into my phone and opened texts of unsolicited pictures of his genitals. I’ve had my head pushed into a pillow while he roared, “Don’t you bleed on me, bitch” over and over. I had my period. I was young, he was much older.
The man responsible for these assaults and harassments is powerful. He is rich. He is a husband. He is acclaimed. He is talented. He is loved by his fans. He is on television every night, dancing and singing his way into the homes of white America. He is a father, many times over. He has a daughter.
None of what I am measures up to the shallowness that he has to offer. I’m already aware of what my characterization would be. That I’m a whore. That I’m a groupie, a homewrecker. When I reached out to an acquaintance, sharing some details about an assault, she responded with “You know there’s a block button on your phone.” It was my fault. I could’ve stopped these things.
I Believe Christine Blasey Ford.