After Months of Threats, Christine Blasey Ford Closes Her GoFundMe Campaign With a Heartfelt Message of Gratitude
"I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty."
Just over two months ago, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward publicly as the person who had accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her as a teenager. Before she even spoke in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she began receiving death threats and was forced to move her family out of their home.
Two months ago, she returned to California after testifying and being questioned by Senators, Kavanaugh was still confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, and for many, life returned to normal. We refocused our energy and our fury on the midterms and any number of other crises put forth by the Trump administration.
But for Dr. Ford, life did not return to normal. Six weeks after she testified, Dr. Ford’s lawyers said she was still receiving threats, she’d had to move multiple times, and she still hadn’t been able to return to her job as a professor at Palo Alto University. All the people who convinced themselves she (and women like her) was lying for money or fame had stopped paying attention, removing themselves from that conversation once their false narrative disintegrated entirely.
Last week, Dr. Ford posted a message to a GoFundMe campaign that had been set up for her family, describing what her life has been like for these past few months. “Your tremendous outpouring of support and kind letters have made it possible for us to cope with the immeasurable stress, particularly the disruption to our safety and privacy,” she writes. “Because of your support, I feel hopeful that our lives will return to normal.”
As for why exactly the funds were needed, she explains, “The funds you have sent through GoFundMe have been a godsend. Your donations have allowed us to take reasonable steps to protect ourselves against frightening threats, including physical protection and security for me and my family, and to enhance the security for our home. We used your generous contributions to pay for a security service, which began on September 19 and has recently begun to taper off; a home security system; housing and security costs incurred in Washington DC, and local housing for part of the time we have been displaced. Part of the time we have been able to stay with our security team in a residence generously loaned to us.”
Dr. Ford said that she is closing the campaign, having quickly surpassed the original goal of $150,000 and ultimately raising close to $650,000. She says that after all of the housing and security costs are taken care of (her lawyers have said that they took her on pro bono), she’ll be donating the rest to “organizations that support trauma survivors.” (She’ll announce the specific organizations once she’s chosen them.)
Is this what people mean when they say women speak out about sexual assault and harassment for fame or money? The constant threats and only then the money to cover security to protect themselves and their families? Incredibly, Dr. Blasey Ford has operated with strength and grace throughout his entire harrowing ordeal.
She ends her letter by saying, “Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty. Having done so, I am in awe of the many women and men who have written me to share similar life experiences, and now have bravely shared their experience with friends and family, many for the first time. I send you my heartfelt love and support.”
(via HuffPost, image: WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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