We Believe Her

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Official USA Today Full Page Ad - 09.25.2018


We believed Dr. Anita Hill in 1991 and we believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford now.

I was 7 years old when Dr. Anita Hill testified before Congress, painstakingly describing the horrific way then Supreme Court nominee, Clarence Thomas, sexually harassed her. I first learned about Dr. Anita
Hill as a college student at Western Michigan University, in my American Judicial Process class, taught by professor Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten. Now, we are seeing the exact same treatment against a woman when I am 34 years old, that was inflicted on a woman when I was 7 years old. What does this say about us and the “progress” we’ve made? That we still don’t believe women’s stories of sexual harassment and abuse? 27 years ago, 1,600 courageous black women came together to fund a full page ad in the New York Times to support Anita Hill. Learning of this from acclaimed author, Tayari Jones, it added fuel to my outrage, already raging in this society where women are constantly deluged by harassment, disrespect, and inequality. How is it that even with such a gesture of public support in the NYT, we still witnessed a woman torn apart and ultimately still allowed a man of this character to sit on the Supreme Court? This inspired our campaign to do the same for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The American public deserves to know who Brett Kavanaugh is by beginning an investigation. This is someone who will sit on the highest court for the rest of his life. Does this man reflect the highest level of service to this country? To afford a man who is accused of violently attacking a female the exalted position of Supreme Court Justice is to tell our children that our values are corrupt. It tells us that what white boys
do in high school is absolved. That women are not treated with as much care and respect as a man’s precious reputation. It is a dereliction of duty from Senators who are trying to prevent an investigation and expedite the appointment of a man with a history of sexual assault. That this has been characterized as a classic case of “He said/She said” is a testament to the diminishing of women’s rights and stories. For a California professor to publicly come out against someone being nominated for one of the most powerful positions in the country, with the knowledge that she will be exposing herself and her family to the highest form of scrutiny in front of the Senate, you must believe that she is sharing her story truthfully. Who gets to be the arbiter of truth? The court of public opinion often seems
to reign supreme in this day of 24/7 news cycles and constant streams of consciousness via social media.

We believe not just Professor Ford, but we believe women. It’s time our instinct is to believe women and men who come out as survivors of sexual abuse. It’s time to begin an era where the first answer is always,
“We believe her.” Women are strong and it should always be our choice to decide not just what we do with our bodies, but also our voice and power. Dr. Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of violently trying to silence her with his hand over her mouth. Well, we won’t let him silence her anymore. Professor Ford says she was able to escape from his grasp then, but not the deep scars of assault, and we must prevent him from holding the future of women in his hands. We demand an impartial investigation. Stop saying “boys will be boys,” but instead, “boys will be held accountable for their actions.” There is no impending deadline for Kavanaugh’s nomination and we know that very well because Republicans dragged out Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland for nearly a year. We are not going
to stop fighting to uphold the American ideals of justice, kindness, civility and equality. We are not going to be silenced. This is just the beginning. We believe her and we believe in this country.

Your sister,
Ashley Horvat & the 1,000+ supporters (and growing) who donated and stood up to support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. These supporters are also survivors in one too many cases. Their stories deserve to be told. We will strive to continue to provide an outlet for their stories.
Generously designed by Amanda Buck, with creative support from YaoYao Wang & Nicole Aelion.

We need your help to grow this effort! Your GoFundMe contribution will immediately fund publishing ads in newspapers across the country. Learn more at gofundme.com/women-support-christine-blasey-ford
#WeBelieveHer

ORIGINAL GOFUNDME POST:

In Defense of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Dr. Anita Hill, and Ourselves


27 years ago, 1600 black women took out a full page ad in the New York Times to show support for Anita Hill. We are once again faced with a corrupt Senate, and a woman who is sacrificing all for us — for the good of the nation and the Supreme Court. Please help us —men and women alike— raise money for a full-page letter in USA Today (the most widely read in the country), and sign your name in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

#Action #ALLWomen #SaveSCOTUS #STOPviolenceagainstwomen #STOPsexualassault #Ibelieveher #ChristineBlaseyFord #IbelieveChristine #TimesUp

Retweet this to amplify message:  https://twitter.com/ashleyinoregon/status/1042502486391578624 

Background: 

After seeing Tayari Jones' post that 27 years ago, 1600 black women took out a full page ad in the New York Times to show support for Dr. Anita Hill, I was outraged. Why is this story not widely reported when discussing Dr. Hill's trials and travails? She testified while cloaked in the support and strength of 1600 black women that refused to let their voices get silenced. Dr. Hill stood up so bravely, elevated by this network of black women, to testify to the horrors her boss put her through to try and save the country from giving a justice the golden gavel for his groping hands. Thank you to these wonderful 1600 women for uniting and creating something so powerful before GoFundMe, social media platforms, and 24/7 news cycles prominence. It's astounding they did this and yet still here we are in 2018 called to do the same after being inspired by their greatness and struggle to be heard. 27 years later, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has come out against a Supreme Court nominee because he attempted to rape her when she was in high school.  I am by no means an expert, nor do I claim to understand every facet of this issue, but I am compelled to do something and I want to take action with thousands of women and men who won't stand for this in 2018. Donors have asked for this to get published in USA Today and to do so, we need a significant amount of financial support. In an ideal world we would raise enough money to take out full page ads in major newspapers and local newspapers across the country (particularly in battleground regions where the voters could turn the country around in the right direction) in an all out blitz ahead of November elections. 

I want the ad to list every single person's name that participated in this Gofundme, just as the 1600 black women were 27 years ago. 

This will be just the beginning of the reckoning for Kavanaugh. Thank you Tayari Jones for donating your hard earned $25 to support Dr. Anita Hill. Let's do the same for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. 

#MeToo has revealed the stories of so many women who were alone in their pain. Let's not stand for those who wish to dim these women's lights, diminish their pain and erase their life stories. Let's put this in black and white for time immemorial to read who stood silent and who stood in solidarity against men who rape, attempt rape, and destroy women in their wake.

Time is not on our side, as Chuck Grassley and his lackeys are pushing through a hearing before a proper investigation takes place. The hearing is set for Monday. We want to find a way to reach Dr. Ford in time and to showcase to the rest of the country (and the world) that we are better than that and her army will be waving the white flag for peace, justice, and equality for women. If we don't rise up together in opposition, who will? 

I would like to hear from advocacy organizations that might be interested in partnering in this effort to elevate and ensure it receives the proper channels and support. I am only one person, a working mom. But I am also a woman who has direct experience with the pain many women have felt after being victimized by a man. I hate that word because it takes away our power. According to Dr. Ford, Brett Kavanaugh covered her mouth violently with his hand to quell her screams for help and resistance. Fuck that. I would like to see this movement as an attempt to snatch the literal and proverbial hand of power Kavanaugh used as a high school boy to silence and violate away from the gavel and help Dr. Ford take back her power.

I have been in contact with USA Today to find out about reserving space dependent upon how much is raised in time for publishing before her testimony or after her testimony. We have also been put in touch with a media buyer who can help facilitate this process. We will work directly with this media buyer and USA Today to get something published. Should the contributions not reach the amount needed to publish an ad, we will reach out to donors to get consensus on next steps. Although the timeliness of publishing a running list of all the supporters in line for Dr. Ford ahead of her testimony is the most ideal, depending upon the outcome of Monday's testimony (if it is in fact held), an ad published after the fact could still be very effective in sending a message to Washington legislators, women who wish to be validated and heard and the general public that we will be heard in these upcoming elections - regardless of the outcome of the Kavanaugh hearings. 

I have also been in contact with Dr. Ford's attorney's office in Washington D.C., Senator Dianne Feinstein, and more to make them aware of this campaign. 

If we don't raise enough to put a full page ad out in USA Today, I would like to consult with all donors to determine best path forward to either:

1. Publish in another major newspaper that we can afford with funds raised to date. 

2. Donate to a non profit that the group of donors supports. Please do contact me if you have any specific suggestions. One thought is to work with Planned Parenthood since they will be entrenched in the battle to ensure women have the right to have a choice. Another is to support an organization that helps more women get into public office to ensure we have diverse voices in power. I would also love to hear from the original 1600 women who supported Dr. Anita Hill in 1991 to find out if there is anything we can do to partner on an organization to support. Another idea is to support an organization that helps to oppose violence against women. This is bigger than all of us and there are so many ways to invest in a peaceful future for women, but I am hoping this group can rally together to make best use of this effort. 

Please keep sharing and hopefully we can crest over the amount required to publish an ad in time ahead of the testimony. 

Thank you,

Ashley Horvat
I will also try to keep posting on Twitter for updates (@ashleyinoregon)
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The mobile billboard ad up close. Plus a profile pic of just the illustration for your social media if you'd like.
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We didn't raise enough to do a full page ad in the NYT in addition to the USA Today ad we already published 9/25/2018, but we did something more pressing and right where the action is. We paid for 3 mobile billboard trucks to be in D.C. today and tomorrow. Please look for these and take as many photos as you can! I also worked on a website so that we have a landing page where you can see your name in support of Dr. Ford. We update this every few days at the most. Please refer to www.webelieveher.us for more info! Also, I worked with a designer friend to create an illustration for this campaign! I will post the illustration in a separate update with the website under it for your profile photos on social media if you'd like.
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As we try to raise more money (we need at least 30k more) to publish an ad in the NYT, we are watching closely to the news and developments. We still want to cement your voices in black & white regardless of what happens this week. One thing I want to ask is that if you are interested in sharing your story publicly (possibly calling it out in a story), please email me. This is your platform! November is right around the corner and there are probably a lot more powerful people out there who would rather see women (and men) silenced.
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Photos of full page USA Today ad.
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