The Senate committee hearing in which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify about her sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is slated to begin at 10 a.m. eastern Thursday morning, but Ford’s opening statement has already been released. You can read the full document here.
The eight-page statement includes a detailed description of the assault—which has appeared in media outlets prior to the hearing—along with the way it changed her life and her reasons for coming forward.
“I am here today not because I want to be,” she writes. “I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
After detailing the incident again, she speaks about the aftermath, and the nightmare she and her family have had to endure because she came forward:
My greatest fears have been realized – and the reality has been far worse than what I expected. My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats. I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying to receive and have rocked me to my core. People have posted my personal information on the internet. This has resulted in additional emails, calls, and threats. My family and I were forced to move out of our home. Since September 16, my family and I have been living in various secure locales, with guards. This past Tuesday evening, my work email account was hacked and messages were sent out supposedly recanting my description of the sexual assault.
Apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have had to relive my trauma in front of the entire world, and have seen my life picked apart by people on television, in the media, and in this body who have never met me or spoken with me. I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. Those who say that do not know me. I am a fiercely independent person and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take that into serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed. It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell the truth.