Washington DC— A coalition of experts on sexual violence and women’s issues spoke at a press conference today organized by the Feminist Majority Foundation to help inform the public discussion surrounding Professor Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

A statement from Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation:

“We are holding this press conference to highlight the work of experts who can inform and enlighten the public discussion on Dr. Blasey Ford’s sexual violence allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. In the 27 years since Anita Hill, much progress has been made in understanding sexual harassment, assault, and violence, yet the national conversation surrounding Dr. Blasey Ford is still filled, after all these years, with hurtful myths that are traumatizing to survivors of sexual assault and damaging to the movement for justice.

At the core of this hurtful rhetoric is the Senate Judiciary Committee, which scheduled a hasty hearing for Dr. Blasey Ford with no experts, no witnesses, and no investigation. For years, numerous organizations and scholars have developed best practices to conduct trauma-informed investigations that are sensitive to the survivor, fair, and thorough. It is shocking for the Senate majority to ignore decades of progress and treat these allegations with even less regard than Anita Hill received, which was also inadequate and unfair. They say there is no time. But there is plenty of time when we’re talking about a lifetime appointment to this nation’s highest court and ensuring that our judicial leaders hold themselves to the gold standard when it comes to violence against women.”

Participants include:

Kim Gandy, President and CEO of National Network to End Domestic Violence

Indira Henard, Executive Director of DC Rape Crisis Center and representing the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

Lisalyn Jacobs J.D., Black Women’s Blueprint and expert on sexual violence

Roger Canaff, former Special Victims ADA and anti-violence against women advocate

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority and Feminist Majority Foundation

Kiersten Stewart, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Futures Without Violence

Toni Van Pelt, President of the National Organization for Women