Christine Blasey Ford, the college professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s, has been nominated for a distinguished alumna award from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The award recognizes alumni “for outstanding contributions to humankind.”
Ford earned an undergraduate degree in experimental psychology from the school in 1988.
Her name was put forth by Jennifer Ho, a professor in UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature, The Hill reported Tuesday.
PLEASE CONSIDER SIGNING AND RE-TWEETING IF YOU ARE UNC AFFILIATED (alums/students/faculty/staff): Signatures supporting the nomination of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for a Distinguished Alumna Award at UNC Chapel Hill https://t.co/1YOH9RXWWf #IBelieveSurvivors
— Jennifer Ho (@DrJenHo) October 6, 2018
In a letter urging others affiliated with UNC to support the nomination, Ho said that Ford did “something that was extraordinary” when she testified on Capitol Hill accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in the early 1980s.
Ford didn’t testify because of “partisan politics,” Ho said.
Rather, she said, it was about “recognizing that the simple of act of speaking one’s truth, especially when that truth involves sexual assault, is an act of bravery.”
“We live in a society that does not believe women,” Ho wrote. “The many indignities that women experience in their day-to-day lives is proof of this, as is the continued attacks on Dr. Blasey Ford after her testimony.
“We know that people who are survivors of sexual assault do not experience justice for their trauma; we know that many of them choose not to report to the police and choose not to reveal their assault out of fear that they will not be believed.”
She went on to say, “There were many lessons that we learned from Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony on September 27, 2018, and one of the most important ones was that any one of us can be extraordinary through the ordinary act of speaking our truth.”
Ho said she thought the award would make it clear to people that UNC “believes survivors of sexual assault” and recognizes “the inordinate courage it took for her to take the moral and ethical stand that she did in testifying about her sexual assault experience in front of the world.”
Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee two weeks ago alleging that Kavanaugh had groped her and tried to remove her clothing at the high school party in suburban Maryland. “I believed he was going to rape me,” she said.
Kavanaugh testified afterward vehemently denying the allegations.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of bringing the confirmation vote to the Senate floor with the caveat that the FBI would conduct a one-week investigation into the allegations made by Ford and two other women against Kavanaugh.
The FBI found there was no corroboration between Ford’s story and the witnesses she claimed were at the party where the alleged assault took place.
Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate in a 50-48 vote mostly along party lines, and he was sworn in Saturday.
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