I believe you

Yesterday was a hard day for women in America. That is, of course, putting it incredibly mildly. We listened as a strong woman was grilled in front of a panel of mostly men about one of the most harrowing experiences a person can have: being sexually assaulted. And yet it did not matter that she was articulate, credible, and maintained composure while talking about one of the worst memories in her life. This morning, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It did not matter that she seemed to be telling the truth. It didn’t matter that she is not the only person to make these types of accusations against him. Because to them, having power is more important than women’s safety.

I wanted to believe that this nomination wouldn’t move forward. And there is still a chance that it won’t, as it now appears that a one week delay for an FBI investigation is more likely. But when I look at what’s happening across the country, it’s hard to be surprised that he could still be confirmed. Right here in Iowa, Roby Smith and his colleagues in the State Senate showed that they don’t respect survivors when they made the rape and incest exceptions to their cruel abortion ban so very narrow and even impossible for some women. It’s easy right now for women to feel that our bodies aren’t something we have any power over.

But I refuse to be knocked down over this. We cannot sit back and let this continue to be a reality for women in America. I will not. If elected to the State Senate, I will work to make sure that women have power and autonomy over their own bodies, and that the powerful can no longer take advantage of them with impunity.

So to those of you who have survived sexual violence and feel despondent and hopeless: I hear you. I see you. I believe you. And I will fight for you.

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