Christine Blasey Ford became a household name when she publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh, then a nominee to the Supreme Court who is now a justice, of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school. Since her testimony, Ford has received numerous death threats, had to pay for private security, and even moved. Understandably, she’s stayed out of the public eye since.
Now she has made her first public appearance since the Senate hearing. In a video for Sports Illustrated, Ford praises Rachael Denhollander, whom the magazine named its “Inspiration of the Year” for 2018.
In her first public statement since September, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford presents Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year Award to Rachael Denhollander https://t.co/2lBOB9nVDk pic.twitter.com/AjRYVYfOmS
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 12, 2018
Denhollander, to recap, was the first woman to come forward to allege sexual abuse against Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor. After Denhollander, a former gymnast and now a lawyer, filed her criminal complaint, literally hundreds of other women came forward with allegations against Nassar.
In January, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. Over one hundred women gave victim impact statements at his sentencing hearings. Denhollander was the last survivor to testify. Her statement was incredible.
“How much is a little girl worth? How much priority should be placed on communicating that the fullest weight of the law will be used to protect another innocent child from the soul-shattering devastation that sexual assault brings?”
For obvious reasons, many people consider Denhollander a hero.
In her video, Ford said:
“Rachael Denhollander, I am in awe of you, and I will always be inspired by you. In stepping forward, you took a huge risk and you galvanized future generations to come forward, even when the odds are seemingly stacked against them. The lasting lesson is that we all have the power to create real change, and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others. … I am honored to speak with you from afar about a woman I admire so much, a woman who suffered abuse as a vulnerable teenage athlete, who found the courage to talk publicly to stop the abuse of others. Her courage inspired other survivors to end their silence, and we all know the result.”
Ford herself is an incredible inspiration. Not only did she risk a great deal in coming forward with her allegations against Kavanaugh, but she also ignited a movement of survivors to do the same. Recently, she announced that she’s donating funds from her GoFundMe account to organizations that support survivors as well.