Marion Witte

September 26, 2018

Thank you, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Filed under: Society — Marion Witte @ 12:48 am

This post is to support and honor the courage of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Christine Blasey

I spent the last few days deciding if I really wanted to write this post. After much soul-searching, I knew, with absolute certainty, that I needed to do just that. I find the reaction of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to the claim of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to be both appalling and condescending. Let me be clear, I am not taking a side about the veracity of Dr. Ford’s allegations. What I am willing to do is confirm that the way she recalled and disclosed her attempted rape is quite normal, based on my very personal experience in this area.

 

 

When I was 16 years old, a neighbor who was ten years older than me attempted to rape me.

That was well over 50 years ago.

I obviously do not remember everything that happened to me during my teenage years, but I remember that event as though it was yesterday. I remember the look on his face. My terror. My anger. I remember the knife. And I remember hearing him say, if I ever said anything to anybody, he would kill my father, the most beloved person in my life. The hair on the back of my neck rises as I think about the Army pistol he aimed at me, as of proof of his intentions. I believed him, and so I said nothing to anyone at the time, and for many years thereafter.

37 years after my attack, my father passed away. I delivered what I hope was a loving, yet honest and authentic obituary at his funeral. As I exited the church to get into the funeral car to go to the cemetery, I noticed a man leaning on the hearse. It was my attacker. I gathered myself, as best I could under the circumstances, and I approached him. With a sarcastic grin, he said “Nice speech.” I quietly thanked him. He then preceded to ask me if I remembered what had happened between us. He went on to tell me, since I was now such an uppity woman, maybe he should tell everyone what I compelled him to do, so that people would know what kind of a girl I really was. I had to gather my thoughts, as my anger and grief were each fighting for my attention. It suddenly struck me that he could no longer do harm to my father, and at the same time I also realized that I had been holding on to that fear for years. So I channeled my dad’s energy, and said what I think he would have said. I told him, using my Big Girl Panties voice, “Say whatever you want to say, and then get the fuck out of my life.”

If anyone were to go back through the records of the various therapists I talked to over the years, you would find a discussion about the attempted rape in many of their notes. You would also read an abbreviated version of the event in my memoir published in 2010.

The attack I describe lasted less than thirty minutes, yet it has affected me my entire life, in ways both big and small. I am writing about this now, not as a victim, yet as an attestation that the type of events Dr. Ford outlined, and the related remembrances, do indeed happen, and we owe it to females everywhere to be HEARD.

And so, I ask that any members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have experience with the subject of sexual assault, or who are sympathetic to the difficult situation of the accuser, please take that into account and show compassion to Dr. Ford’s very complicated and sensitive situation.

And to the members of that same Committee, those who appear to have no interest in pursuing any form of truth, or showing any form of compassion to those who may have been subjected to such a vile experience, I say, with all due respect:

“Please, shut the fuck up!”

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2 Comments »

  1. Always enjoy your writing. A powerful story told in personal terms is what the world needs more of and you have done another masterful job of just that.

    Comment by Evelyn Stack — September 20, 2018 @ 8:23 pm

  2. Hi Evelyn,
    Thanks for your kind words – I try to do what little I can, and I know you do too!
    Marion

    Comment by Marion Witte — September 22, 2018 @ 6:42 pm

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