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Sharing incident of assault by man being considered for SC judge my 'civic duty': Kavanaugh accuser


Press Trust of India Washington
The woman who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault said the incident drastically altered her life and she felt it was her "civic duty" to share her story about what happened to her 36 years ago at the hands of the man nominated by President Donald Trump as the Supreme Court judge.
Christine Blasey Ford has alleged that at the age of 15 she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in 1982. Both of them were in high school in suburban Maryland at that time.
"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," she said in a prepared testimony, which will be delivered at a high-profile hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
"It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell the truth," she said.
The 51-year-old woman said she had kept the episode a closely-guarded secret, except for sharing it with her husband and few of her friends, till the time it started appearing in the press that Kavanaugh was going to be nominated as a Supreme Court Judge.
In early July 2018, Ford said, she saw press reports of Kavanaugh shortlisted for potential Supreme Court nominees.
"I thought it was my civic duty to relay the information I had about Mr Kavanaugh's conduct so that those considering his potential nomination would know about the assault," she said.
Ford and 53-year-old Kavanaugh are scheduled to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
"On July 6, 2018, I had a sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the President as soon as possible before a nominee was selected. I called my congressional representative and let her receptionist know that someone on the President's shortlist had attacked me," she said.
"I also sent a message to The Washington Post's confidential tip line. I did not use my name, but I provided the names of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. I stated that Mr Kavanaugh had assaulted me in the 1980s in Maryland. This was an extremely hard thing for me to do, but I felt I couldn't NOT do it," she said.
Giving a detail of the incident, Ford said it happened one evening at a common friends place in Chevy Chase area where they had gathered.
"When I got to the small gathering, people were drinking beer in a small living room on the first floor of the house. I drank one beer that evening. Brett and Mark (Judge) were visibly drunk," she said.
Ford said she was accosted by Kavanaugh and his friend Mark. They thrust her into an upstairs bedroom at the house and locked the door.
"I was pushed onto the bed and Brett (Kavanaugh) got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me...Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes...I believed he was going to rape me," she said.
"I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me," Ford alleged.
Ford said she was finally able to escape and rushed out of the house with an "enormous sense of relief" that the duo did not follow her.
She said that the assault on her "drastically altered" her life.
"For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details," she said.
Ford said apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest time of her 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," she said.

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First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 2:05 PM IST

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