A Woman Called Into C-SPAN During the Kavanaugh Hearing. What She Said Is Absolutely Heartbreaking.

Bravery is contagious.

During a break in Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony Thursday, a woman called into C-SPAN and tearfully recounted a decades-old sexual assault. “This brings back so much pain,” she said. “I thought I was over it, but [I’m] not. You will never forget it. You get confused, and you don’t understand it. But you never forget what happened to you.”

The woman, identified on air as 76-year-old Brenda from Valley Park, Missouri, says her assault occurred in the second grade—nearly 70 years ago. Her words provided a striking counterbalance to skeptics who have made it a point to distrust the reliability of a sexual assault victim’s memory, including Ford’s. “It is such a shame,” she said.

Brenda credited listening to Ford’s testimony as the reason to share her own story of trauma to a national television audience. “I thought I was over this. And I have not brought this up for years until I heard this testimony—and it is just breaking my heart.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

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 want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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