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Home / US / Following the outpouring of #MeToo stories, the congress laments with Kavanaugh Confirmation Fallout

Following the outpouring of #MeToo stories, the congress laments with Kavanaugh Confirmation Fallout



The New Hampshire Democrat says she has experienced something similar after being sexually abused about 40 years ago.

Like Ford, Kuster can not determine the exact date of the event. But the two women say they vividly remember other aspects of the incident.

Amidst the ardent partisanship surrounding the blockbuster Congressional hearings and the historically close ratification vote, Republican and Democratic women have spoken equally about how they and women close to them are affected by sexual misconduct. Some women, like Ford, described events that took place decades ago. Others have publicly acknowledged for the first time that they have had #MeToo experiences while declining to state what happened.

Women's reports of their stories during the Confirmation Campaign marked the conversation that took place on Capitol Hill, though it could take months or even years to see what impact Congress would have on Congress the Kavanaugh hearings and the decision of so many women to talk about their experiences of sexual violence.

Democrat Debbie Dingell, who has talked about her past # MeToo experiences in the past, said in an interview that women in the congressional district she represents in Michigan shared her heartbreaking personal stories in the midst of the Kavanaugh affirmation. "So many people had stories, it was incredible," she said.

The congressman said she was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the day the Senate decided to take Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court when a woman came to her and sobbed. The woman said that her sister had committed suicide years ago after a sexual assault.

The Democrat of Michigan has also heard of men in her district who have told her of her own fears and fears about current cultural reporting on harassment and assault.

"I can not tell you how many men are telling me now that they're just not going to hire women because they say it's too complicated," Dingell said. "People are scared … I think men are worried that their lives will be destroyed."

The Democratic congressman now says that it is about finding out how to deal with unacceptable behavior so that "women are not harmed by progress in the workplace" while at the same time "ensuring that the process happening is conserved."

Democratic and Republican Women Speak Out

The same day, when Ford testified, five Democratic congressmen sent a letter to President Donald Trump and the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, posing as domestic and sexual assault identified victims and call for votes on the nomination to be postponed and an investigation of the allegations against Kavanaugh.
The letter was from Kuster and Dingell as well as Reps. Jackie Speier of California, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, and Alma Adams of North Carolina, all of whom had publicly talked about harassment, assault, or domestic violence prior to the confirmation battle.

It was not just Democratic lawmakers who referred to #MeToo moments in their own lives when the confirmation battle went off.

An Alaska Public Media reporter asked Republican sentinel Lisa Murkowski if she had ever had a #MeToo moment. The Alaskan Senator replied that she had and said "yes," though she did not elaborate. In the end, Murkowski was the only GOP senator to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. The Senator said she thought Kavanaugh was a "good man" in a speech explaining her decision, but said she "could not come to the conclusion that he was the right person for the court at the time. "

Separately Kellyanne Conway, a Kavanaugh defense lawyer, revealed during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that she was the victim of sexual assault.

However, Conway suggested that people who were not responsible for sexual misconduct were unfair when the confirmation battle was intensely politicized. "Let's be honest about what it's all about, it's a raw partisan policy," she said, discussing the Kavanaugh fight.

In other cases, some women in Congress shared stories of women in their vicinity who were affected by personal injury.

A few days after announcing her opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination, New York Times Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota said her mother was a victim of sexual violence. Heitkamp has since quarreled and apologized after her campaign misunderstood some women as survivors of abuse in an ad.

"So many women came forward"

Congress had many of its own moments last year.

Several legislators on both sides of the aisle had to resign in the past year after women raised misconduct charges, and highlighted the need for Congress to have its own home for molestation harassment produced and handled on Capitol Hill. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed their own bills to revise the process, but legislators still have not reached a definitive agreement, leading to criticism from proponents of long-lasting legislation reforms.
  & # 39; Nothing about it felt right: more than 50 people describe sexual harassment on Capitol Hill

Republican Senator John Kennedy, a Kavanaugh supporter of the Judiciary Committee, the Kavanaughs Having examined the nomination, said hearing women's personal stories "spread the sexual abuse in America" ​​"And I said the #Metoo movement had opened its eyes to the scale of the problem."

"I did not know how far it was before the MeToo movement began," said the Louisiana Senator.

I talked to friends of mine who happen to be where men are and they say, "What planet were you bouncing off from?" It took forever, "he added.

Kennedy said, "I'm not saying I've never seen anything, but I had no idea, and I'm convinced it's real, and I understand the reluctance to speak, and I think we have to But I do not believe you are addressing this by initiating a proper process. "

Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono, an opponent of the Kavanaugh nomination and also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, described the confirmation process as" Galvanize moment for so many people to speak up. "

The Hawaii Senator said that some of her close friends, whom she has known for a long time, recently entrusted her with her own experiences of rape and sexual abuse.

"So many women came They told us their stories they had never shared before," said Hirono, "This was a moment for them to make their voice heard, and I know they hoped they believed become. "

& # 39; What? She said it was very important.

After Ford testified before the congress, President Donald Trump mocked them at a rally and kept saying, "I do not remember," based on the fact that she could not remember every detail of the event.

"How did you get home? I do not remember How did you get there? I do not remember Where is the place? I do not remember How many years ago it was? I do not know," Trump said in acclamation and applause.

After vehemently denying the allegations against him, Kavanaugh was reaffirmed at a Senate party election with a Democrat who voted for his Senate nomination Republicans argued that an FBI investigation found no confirmatory evidence to make allegations against him to justify.
  Former Congressional Helpers Urge Long-Lasting Sexual Harassment Laws

Dingell is worried that women are reluctant to sign up after they saw how Ford was treated and Kavanaugh, despite their allegations, was still confirmed to the Supreme Court

"Part of the problem for a woman is that when she stands out … you are branded, you are a troublemaker" she said, adding, "I have stories that I will not tell until today, if I would tell the stories that they would have Maj or implications that I simply do not want to share."

Kuster considers it painfully, Ford read their allegations to the members of Congress, but she also believes that the decision of the California professor

"People are often prevented from registering, and if they have the courage to tell their story, they may not have all the details at hand," the congressman said ,

"She was able to articulate the way people feel when they have these memories," Kuster said, adding, "This is a very common experience for anyone who experiences trauma and especially for survivors of sexual assault … so I think what she said was very important in our continued efforts to educate the public. "

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty contributed to this report.


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