Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez: “This Is How Victims Are Isolated and Silenced”

“I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way.”

Tom Williams/AP

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In a statement released Saturday, Deborah Ramirez—who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her while the two were at Yale—said senators, like her classmates at Yale, are “deliberately ignoring [Kavanaugh’s] behavior.”

“I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way…This is how victims are isolated and silenced,” she said. 

The Senate is expected to confirm Kavanaugh Saturday, with a vote set to happen midafternoon Eastern time.

Although the weeks building up to Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote have been painful for survivors of sexual assault, Ramirez ends her statement on a hopeful note, saying, “There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors.”

Here is her full statement

Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh. As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior. This is how victims are isolated and silenced.

But I do have corroborating witnesses speaking for me, although they were not allowed to speak to the FBI, and I feel extremely grateful for them and for the overwhelming amount of support that I have received and continue to receive during this extremely difficult and painful time. There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors. This is truly a collective moment of survivors and allies standing together.

Thank you for hearing me, seeing me and believing me. I am grateful for each and every one of you. We will not be silenced.

We stand in truth and light,

Debbie Ramirez
(pronouns she, her, hers)

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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