'You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter, that what happened to me doesn't matter, and that you're going to let people who do these things into power.'
Survivors of sexual assault were able to confront Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) just moments after his office announced he would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S Supreme Court.
"What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court," one woman told Flake, who stood inside a Senate elevator, unable to escape the confrontation.
"This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children. I cannot imagine that, for the next 50 years, they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?"
A second survivor said:
You're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet, because if they tell you what happened to them, you're going to ignore them.
That's what happened to me, and that's what you're telling all women in America. They don't matter, they should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth, you're just going to help that man to power anyway.
That's what you're telling all of these women. That's what you're telling me right now. Look at me when I'm talking to you! You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter, that what happened to me doesn't matter, and that you're going to let people who do these things into power. That's what you're telling me when you vote for him.
Don't look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me.
A third woman demanded, "Senator Flake, do you think that Brett Kavanaugh is telling the truth? Do you think that he's able to hold the pain of this country and repair it?"
Flake, who is retiring from the Senate this year, has made a point of making speeches decrying the state of political discourse during the Trump era. But again and again, when given the opportunity to stand up to the Trump bullying and the destruction of political norms, Flakes takes the easy way out.
Flake's "yes" vote comes one day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford publicly detailed her allegations of sexual assault at the hands of Kavanaugh back in high school.
She said he put his hand over her mouth while trying to take off her clothes after he and a friend shoved her into a room.
"I thought Brett was going to accidentally kill me," she testified.
Kavanaugh responded Thursday with an afternoon of angry, paranoid testimony.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.