Defending against death threats for accusing someone of sexual assault, especially a Supreme Court nominee, costs a lot of money, supporters of Christine Blasey Ford say.
To help her through a new financial strain, Silicon Valley neighbors and colleagues helped launch a GoFundMe that has raised more than $39,000 since Tuesday. Since Ford, a Palo Alto University professor, agonizingly decided to come forward with an allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee on Sunday, her life has been upended.
“Christine Blasey Ford demonstrated a huge amount of courage speaking out this week. She did not initially come forward because she was scared of the response,” the GoFundMe wrote. “She was right to be scared.”
Ford tried to keep her identity under in telling her story to Rep. Anna Eshoo, who sent a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein in July. The letter alleged that a 17-year-old Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to take off her clothes when she was 15 years old at a high school party. She said she broke free when his friend, Mark Judge, jumped on top and sent them stumbling.
The letter, which Feinstein reported to the FBI and was sent back to all senators, had little impact until her name began trickling out. Within hours of going public with The Washington Post, Ford’s credibility and privacy were invaded and by Tuesday morning, a white nationalist Twitter account posted her address to call for a protest outside against the “hoax” allegation.
Her family has since relocated from their home, her email has been hacked, she’s been impersonated online, and she has received death threats, her attorneys told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley. Another California professor named Christine Ford was even misidentified and targeted by The Drudge Report and Laura Ingraham, NBC News reports.
“Not only has the right-wing smear machine started, but she is receiving serious threats against her and has had to engage a security force to protect her family,” the GoFundMe stated. ” This is all really expensive and she needs our help.”
Senate Republicans have begrudgingly said would hear from Ford but expressed a desire to do so quickly, refused to call Judge to the stand as a witness, and confirm Kavanaugh either way. Ford expressed willingness to testify, which was promptly scheduled for Monday.
“This has been a drive-by shooting when it comes to Kavanaugh,” Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Washington Post. “I’ll listen to the lady, but we’re going to bring this to a close.”
While she’s still willing to meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee, she is calling for an FBI investigation before a high-stakes hearing, which Sen. Kamala Harris supports. But Senate Republicans are sticking with the plan to have a hearing on Monday, with or without her.
“She should not be bullied into participating in a biased process and we should not rush forward before facts are gathered,” Harris tweeted.
The conversation since Ford went public has been a step back from what was supposed to be a watershed #MeToo era. Kavanaugh supporters are simultaneously depicting it as a partisan move and questioning the timing while defending teenaged behavior — nuance not afforded to Black youth shot to death and posthumously dehumanized, as many have pointed out online.
President Donald Trump, joined by Senate Republicans like Graham and Bob Corker, have even expressed remorse that Kavanaugh had to go through the accusation at all.
In a stand for all sexual assault survivors, a candlelight vigil in the name of Ford will be held on Sunday from 7:45-9 p.m. at the Powell Street cable car turnaround.
“We believe Christine, and we need to #StopKavanaugh,” organizers said.