The women who came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have found courage after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did so, two doctors told us exclusively.
After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, multiple women came forward, some on the eve of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committtee. While Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have argued that the timing of their accusations is suspicious, two top psychiatrists explained to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that this is actually quite common. Dr. Ford’s brave act likely inspired the women to share their own alleged experiences with Kavanaugh.
“I believe the victims are coming forward because [Kavanaugh] will be in a position of power to make huge and landmark decisions based around women and women’s rights, abortion, sex crimes, and more,” Dr. Sherri Campbell, a licensed psychiatrist, counselor, and therapist told us EXCLUSIVELY. Dr. Ford first revealed that Kavanaugh allegedly held her down at a party in the 1980s, when they were both high schoolers, covered her mouth with his hand, and tried to take off her clothes while grinding on her. She managed to escape before anything else could happen.
Debbie Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, later alleged that the Supreme Court nominee exposed himself to her during their freshman year, allegedly putting his penis in her face. Michael Avenatti revealed the identity of a third alleged victim, Julie Swetnick, on September 26. Swetnick alleges that Kavanaugh was present during high school parties in which “vulnerable” girls, including herself, had their drinks spiked and were gang raped. Two anonymous people came forward, as well. One claims that Kavanaugh once shoved a woman “sexually,” and another claims Kavanaugh raped someone on a boat.
Dr. Jenn Mann, a psychotherapist and author of the Relationship Fix, echoed Dr. Campbell’s assertion that Dr. Ford’s revelation helped them come forward, telling us EXCLUSIVELY that, “without a doubt, when one brave victim speaks out, it encourages others. Often times a survivor is unable to do for herself what she is able to do for another survivor. When I was in college, I was a journalist doing a story about acquaintance rape and interviewed four women who have been raped by one man who went to jail. The only reason why they were able to find the strength to report was because when they heard about the pain and suffering he had caused their other women, they felt they had to do something.”
Dr. Mann also credited the #MeToo movement for helping Kavanaugh’s alleged victims find the strength to testify. “The #Metoo movement has created an atmosphere where women are know more likely to be heard and believed,” she said. “Knowing that reporting doesn’t just subject you to scrutiny but also may help others to come forward and powers women to help each other.” So why do victims in general have a hard time coming forward? It’s because of what’s happening now to Kavanaugh’s accusers, says Dr. Campbell: shame, the fear of not being believed, and retaliation. “If it feels like it can simply be denied they worry about retaliation in the form of lies and humiliation,” she said. “It can feel very hopeless to victims to fight so why expose themselves.”