Whenever a public figure faces charges of sexual assault, we follow the same broken cycle — an allegation is made, the accused person denies it, and the survivor is attacked. Then a chorus of voices amplified through cable news discounts the accusation and says, “even if it’s true, it’s not that bad.”

This is a familiar story for many women. It’s my story too.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has lodged a credible allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Since coming forward, she has faced criticism and threats. She and her family have been forced into hiding. If she chooses to testify before the Judiciary Committee, she’ll face a level of scrutiny unlike anything we have seen since the Anita Hill debacle in 1991.

In college, I was the victim of a sexual assault that I have not discussed publicly until today. I did not report the assault because while I cannot speak for all victims, my experience has taught me that to be assaulted is to be traumatized. It is to be left with lingering feelings of doubt, grief, fear and rage. It is to revisit the tragedy over and over

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