A joint statement from VT Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Vermont Works for Women, Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, Voices for Vermont’s Children, The Vermont Women’s Fund and Women’s March Vermont:
We stand with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as she testifies today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As organizations that work on issues impacting the well-being of women and girls in Vermont, we know that this is an important moment for our country. One in three women have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We know that this issue touches the lives of many Vermonters. It is essential that we lift up the voices of women and girls in our communities, trust their abilities, and believe their stories.
We respect survivors’ decisions about when and how to share their experiences. Sexual assault can be a traumatic, life-changing event. The unfortunate truth is that too many people who come forward with an experience of sexual assault suffer further hurt and humiliation by having their story dismissed, their integrity doubted, or their motives questioned. Survivors who do share their story should be treated with respect. It takes courage to come forward about sexual assault or harassment.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to work in partnership with all Vermonters to ensure that violence and abuse do not limit women’s and girls’ opportunities to reach their fullest potential.