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Dear Senator Flake

Senator Jeff Flake is about to vote on the lifetime appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. We asked Arizona women, queer, trans and gender-non-conforming people, and survivors of sexual assault and harassment to write a personal message to Flake in the lead-up to this final vote.

We will be sharing their letters with Senator Flake’s office and with his staff both in person and by email, as well as excerpts here.

Call Flake’s office and ask him to weigh these stories and experiences as he makes his final decision:

PHOENIX OFFICE: 602 840 1891

WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE: 202-224-4521

 Content warning: descriptions of sexual assault and abuse and its aftermath. Messages have been edited for length. All messages are shared here with the permission of the people who wrote them.

I have not disclosed the sexual misconduct I experienced at the hands of a Boy Scout leader over 60 years ago. There is no one who could corroborate my truth even if I did. My perpetrator is certainly no longer alive. So Dr. Ford’s having held her story so close to the vest for 30+ years does not surprise me.
I was sexually abused as a child and thinking about it now makes me sick. Stop belittling women’s stories.
Over the past few years, multiple friends of mine have been sexually assaulted or harassed by men they worked with. All ultimately left their jobs — jobs where they were thriving — as a result of the discomfort, frustration and trauma they felt. In confirming Kavanaugh, you would be sending a crystal clear message to women across this country that their success and safety doesn’t matter.
Those memories never go away. I believe Dr. Ford and the two other women. Please vote NO.
When I was 10 years old, a male baby sitter my mother had hired exposed himself to me...Later, when his mother became widowed, he stole money from her...bad character doesn’t leave the soul as years pass.
When you voted to confirm Kavanaugh, you told me that my trauma didn’t matter.
“That terrible memory of feeling so helpless in not protecting my son and daughters came back as I watched [my daughter] glued to the TV watching the Supreme Court hearing.”
I’m stating this publicly, now, because I know I shouldn’t feel so afraid to speak up because of shame. I didn’t do anything wrong, he did and he should be in prison. Instead, I have been in my own prison of flashbacks and sobbing, feeling terrified at night, sleeping with pepper spray under my pillow.
Being told that what this man did to women is either not credible, didn’t happen, or if it did happen it just isn’t a big deal, is incredibly emotionally traumatic for myself and the women in my life. We matter. Our stories matter. What happened to us matters.
People like him are kept in power every day while people like me are raped and treated as disposable and inconvenient in our pain.
I worked for GM and was told oh he didn’t mean anything by it, he was just joking. I filed complaints and nothing was done. Don’t let this happen again. Stand firm and don’t put someone in a position of power that you know should not be there.
I am a 66 year old woman who experienced sexual and physical assault in high school as well as in the work place in my 20’s...the key details are never forgotten, as Dr Ford testified.
I was sexually abused by my father from a young age through early high school...watching Dr. Ford and Mr. Kavanaugh feels so emotional to me - we have a chance to begin to change this culture of coverup and instead believe the abused and assaulted.
I will never be able to see Mr. Kavanaugh’s face again without remembering his bullying and entitlement attitude, so similar to the attitudes of my abusers.
My daughter was raped in 1996, and things were just the same as 1982. We must take these allegations seriously.
I was only 8 years old and it was not safe for me to tell anyone... He got away with everything because he was a man and was not accountable. Kavanaugh has triggered all of this and I am very emotionally very upset. A man will get away with it again.
I know that there is a long list with close to 100 judges that could be used to select a different nominee.
I have spent forty years tucking away and not thinking about my rape. With all the voices around me, supporting me, holding me up, I now know that the rape was not my fault! You must support me, support the women of Arizona, protect the women of the United States of America.
My mom was molested when she was a girl. Too afraid to tell anyone until recently, she’s lived nearly 70 years with this emotional wound. Appointing someone to SCOTUS who has demonstrated his disregard for victims of this type of violence is unconscionable.
Somehow the issue came up, and every single woman at that table had a story to tell. The one man in the room was shocked.

The hopeful thing in this whole mess is the women who are telling their stories for the first time...Please do not help in the effort being made to silence us or tell us that other things are more important.
I truly believe that no woman would put herself and her family through this public humiliation just for political purposes. In her heart she felt compelled to step forward. How others handled the situation may be in question. Yes, Ms Ford’s testimony brought back many terrible memories for me and many of my friends and colleagues. It is truly painful to have to recall the horrors of being attacked by certain men who display power over women through physical control. Bottom line, however, is that there are many qualified judges serving on courts across the country who would be much more fit for service on the Supreme Court.
We will speak up now, we will report now, but statistics show few of us will get satisfaction from police, courts, and schools....and we will still be shamed, blamed, disbelieved, or humiliated, like we saw last week.
I understand how this woman feels. It happened to me by a Dartmouth College student and i was able to get away. I never told anyone about it. You feel the shame even though you weren’t responsible and also the fact who would believe you.
I was sexually assaulted by my boss. I do not remember the exact date but I remember clearly where and by whom...Sexual assault is not easy for women to talk about but when a woman does talk about it we must listen to her.
I am begging you.
Since the details of Ford’s assault have come out I’ve had nightmares of being assaulted, not being believed, having to see my attacker afterwards.
This week has been a horrible revisiting of things that happen to me early in my railroad career. There was a supervisor who asked me how badly I wanted a promotion and patted his lap, and other times waited for me in the parking lot after I got off work and shook a hotel room key at me, asking again how badly I wanted a promotion....Or the coworkers on the locomotive who would try to pull down the zipper on my overalls or try to touch my breasts while we were zooming through towns in the middle of the night as I was operating the locomotive... Most of the men I worked with were good people and didn’t try anything, but the few who did, left me scarred and afraid to be alone with strangers...If any of them tried to run for an office now, I would come forward 35 years later and tell my stories, and I would be treated the same as Dr Ford is being treated now.
I am a survivor of an attempted who had a knife pressed against her chest while at ASU, I am also a survivor of being assaulted and beat and left to rot in a field when I was 15.
Your willingness to hear other women’s stories and to insist on an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh will be remembered positively in history!!! I am now in my 70s, and like so many women I know, I too have a story from my youth.
I can not tell you the hotel, the exact date or the Sgt. name at this point. But I recall how I felt and how scared it made a very naive 20 year old. Watching Judge Kavanaugh’s anger and distain for the female senators asking questions tells me all i need to know...You were able to stand and deliver when it mattered. Like Senator John McCain, vote NO when it matters most. That moment is NOW.
 Brought to you by Progress Now Arizona: progressnowarizona.org

Brought to you by Progress Now Arizona: progressnowarizona.org