Kaine On Senate Floor: Confirming Kavanaugh Would Send Hostile Message To Sexual Assault Survivors
Kaine told stories of survivors from Alexandria, Sterling, Chesapeake, Radford, Williamsburg, Henrico
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine delivered a speech on the Senate floor calling on his colleagues to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Kaine spoke about the hostile message the Senate would send survivors of assault by confirming a nominee facing serious allegations of sexual misconduct and the damage that would be done to the Supreme Court given Kavanaugh’s display of excessive partisanship during his Senate testimony. In his remarks, Kaine told the stories of six sexual assault survivors from Virginia who have reached out to him about Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Transcript of Speech Excerpts As Prepared for Delivery:
“More than 150 survivors of sexual abuse from Virginia have reached out to my office to share their personal stories and ask the Senate to show that we care about this issue. Some of these people are women I have known for years but who have never shared their stories with me until now.
“A woman from Alexandria wrote: “As a citizen, veteran, assistant professor, mother, grandmother, wife and sexual assault victim at age 17 in 1968, I want to thank Dr. Blasey Ford for her testimony. I have never told anyone of the sexual attack and I am 68 years old.”
“A woman from Sterling who survived a sexual assault wrote “I want my future daughters to grow up in a country where sexual assault and abuse is taken seriously by every official and legal professional in the United States.”
“A man from Chesapeake wrote: “As a male sexual assault victim, I understand how difficult it is to come forward. I strongly and respectfully urge you to attempt to empathize with those of us who have been abused.”
“A survivor from Radford wrote expressing dissatisfaction with the minimal investigation of the sexual assault claims saying “it makes me feel like if my attacker were nominated for the Supreme Court, that I wouldn’t be taken seriously either.”
“A woman from Williamsburg wrote: “Dr. Ford has agreed to full investigations into her experiences, but our leaders are failing her and every American citizen. I watch this unfold with anticipation, hoping that my representatives will listen to us.”
“An immigrant from Henrico wrote: “When my family immigrated, an American couple who had helped sponsor our family, became my temporary legal guardians so that my parents could find work, save money and find a home for me and my siblings. My sponsor mother was wonderful but did not know that her husband repeatedly molested and raped me. It started at the age of five until I returned to my family at age nine—my older daughter’s current age.”
“What are these survivors asking? First, that a real investigation into the charges be conducted. That dozens of witnesses proffered by Ms. Ramirez and Dr. Ford not be ignored. And finally, that the Senate not confirm to the Supreme Court a person with this kind of question mark by his name. To confirm Judge Kavanaugh under these circumstances would send a powerful message that the Senate, and now possibly the Supreme Court, is a hostile environment for survivors of sexual assault.”
Kaine described Dr. Blasey Ford testifying “calmly, credibly and candidly” before the Senate Judiciary Committee and criticized the minimal investigation into charges against Judge Kavanaugh that ignored dozens of relevant witnesses. Kaine announced last month that he will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.