Dr. Christine Blasey Ford made a rare public appearance to accept the ACLU of Southern California’s Rodger Baldwin Courage Award over the weekend, explaining in more depth and detail what motivated her to come forward against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018. (Almost 14 months ago Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh assaulted her when both were in high school in 1982. He has denied the accusations and was later confirmed to the bench.)
“When I came forward last September, I did not feel courageous,” Blasey Ford said in her acceptance speech. “I was simply doing my duty as a citizen.” So much so, she added, that she felt certain anyone in her position would “of course do the same thing.” But what seemed to her to be an essential and obvious move had a greater impact—and came at a greater cost—than she could have anticipated.
After her appearance before the Senate committee, Blasey Ford and her family were faced with threats, forcing them to move from their home and enhance their personal security.
“I was prepared for a variety of outcomes, including being dismissed,” she said over the weekend of her decision to speak out. “I was not prepared for the venom, the consistent attacks, the vilification, the loss of personal privacy, and the collateral damages to my friends and my family. I was not prepared to be physically threatened, or forced out of our home for over three months. I have learned a lot over the past year. I have learned there’s a well-financed attack machine out there ready to flood the internet and the media anytime I raise my head. And I know it’s not going to go away.”
In coming forward, Blasey Ford faced greater scrutiny and cruelty than most of her critics can imagine. But, she went on, even in the face of relentless attacks, she found strength. “Though I underestimated the pain, I also underestimated the love and the support that I have received,” she said.
You can watch the entire speech below: