He Said Versus They Said: #BelieveSurvivors

You are in the future.

I am writing this the day before Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was sexually assault by supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Politics can be tough to discuss, but I'm not here to do that.

What I'm here to do is to say that I support survivors. In the last two weeks, Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick have all come forward to accuse Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

What I want to pause and think about is that, if he is confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh could be the supreme court justice who could directly affect women's health options (abortion, right to birth control, etc.) in America.

The irony is profound.

Last night my wife and I had a family meeting to talk about sexual misconduct with our daughter and our son. The reality is that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. As a parent, there are uncomfortable conversations that need to have with our children (my kids are 11 and 15) and this was one of them.

We wanted to make it clear to them that no one has the right to touch them inappropriately (family member, friend of the family, teacher, no one).

Seeing the news reports over the last week, have been downright horrible. Men blaming women "not reporting soon enough" or "they were drinking" as though being sexually assaulted was their fault was all over the airwaves.

I could easily turn my head and not talk about this uncomfortable topic, but that's not who I am. I get up at 5:30 a.m. before my day job to write about heroines who rescue themselves and who are champions of their own destinies. I write about women and I believe that we need more women heroes in our books and films. Why Harry Potter? Why wasn't Hermione Granger the main character?

So I write my stories about Cinderella, Morgan, Phoebe and Sabrina and tell their stories.

Now I'm seeing women coming forward after decades to share their darkest secrets. In response, Dr. Ford has received death threats for speaking out. Others have accused her of having a political agenda. But I'm not seeing many men on the judiciary committee to truly want to listen to her. Senator Lindsey Graham hasn't even heard Dr. Ford speak under oath yet and he's already said, "What am I supposed to do, go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation? Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this."

Think about that for a moment. What does his statement mean for other women? One of the most powerful men in the world isn't willing to really listen. He's already made up his mind. Why he didn't say "I will listen to Dr. Ford's testimony and then make my decision after that" clearly speaks to the problem we have in America.

Many men can't even pretend to want to give Dr. Ford a fair hearing. The shame, emotional and psychological burden of dealing with sexual assault affects a person for the rest of their life. Coming forward and sharing that horrible event, is courageous, but fret with difficulty.

Again, you are in the future. Maybe by the time you read this Brett Kavanaugh will have withdrawn his name. Maybe he was confirmed to his lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. I do not have the answers to that.

But what I do have is a voice. I choose to say that I believe survivors. I believe it is imperative for the three women who have come forward to be heard. I believe that an investigation is warranted by the FBI and that a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination should not take place on Friday, September 28.

The future of how we treat women who have been sexually assault is on the line. There is a time to stand up and to do the right thing--not because we support the "blue" or "red" team. No, I believe listening to the stories of Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick is the human thing to do. We are on the verge of selecting a life appointment to the highest court in America and yet some are pushing forward to sweep the accusations under the rug. That is not right. That is not fair. That is NOT American.

I grew up in an abusive and dysfunctional family. I heard my mother's stories and I have worked hard through counseling and Adult Children of Alcoholic Anonymous support groups to overcome what I grew up with as a child. What I am seeing play out in our National politics is personal to me.

I might only be one voice, but I believe it is important to speak up and take a stand. Change over how survivors are treated will take place because people speak up. I have contacted my Senators to let them know where I stand. Now I ask you: Where do you stand?

We may not agree on all the issues, but I do believe that in our heart of hearts we believe that a woman who has been sexually assaulted should be heard and treated with respect.

As always, I appreciate the time you take to read this.