#WhyIDidntReport Is A Gut-Wrenching Response To Trump’s Attack on Ford’s Credibility

Ting Shen/ZUMA

For the first time since Christine Blasey Ford came forward with sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump on Friday openly suggested that Ford’s account may not be credible—a clear end to the uncharacteristically measured response Trump had initially taken after Ford’s detailed account was published in the Washington Post Sunday—because Ford did not report the incident when it allegedly occurred more than 30 years ago when Ford and Kavanaugh were teenagers.

Democratic lawmakers and advocates of sexual assault victims instantly condemned the president’s direct challenge to Ford’s accusations, as it displayed a failure to grasp long-established understandings of survivor trauma and the emotional and institutional difficulties survivors face in holding their attackers accountable.

Trump’s evolving stance on Ford—which adds to his record of defending men like Kavanaugh who have been similarly accused of misconduct—spurred a wave of women to publicize their experiences with sexual assault and explain their decisions not to report their attackers. The stories included some women who explained what went wrong when they did try to report their assaults.

The powerful display of solidarity came as conservatives continue trying to discredit Ford’s credibility, through conspiracy theories of mistaken identity and Democratic plots to kill Kavanaugh’s nomination. Others have dismissed Ford as “mixed up.” 

Shortly after Trump’s tweets on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hammer through Kavanaugh’s nomination process, with or without Ford’s testimony. Trump and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee continue to deny Ford’s calls for an FBI investigation to look into her accusations.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate