opinion

'As Donald Trump mocked Christine Blasey-Ford's testimony, I ran to the bathroom to vomit.'

Warning: This article deals with details of a sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.

I truly thought I had become desensitised to Donald Trump.

This is a man who has talked about grabbing women by the pussy and has referred to his own daughter as “a piece of ass”. A man who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women and believes women who have abortions should be “punished”.

None of it shocks me anymore.

We discuss Brett Kavanaugh on our US politics podcast, Tell Me It’s Going To Be Okay.

But today, as I watched him mock the wrenching testimony of Dr Christine Blasey-Ford in which she spoke about her alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, I was stunned.

While hundreds of his supporters cheered at a raucous campaign-style rally in Mississippi, Trump crudely imitated Ford, mocking her inability to remember certain details of the alleged assault 36 years ago.

“How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember,'” he says. “How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember,’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember,’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.'”

Continuing to imitate Ford to uproarious laughter, he added, “But I had one beer – that’s the only thing I remember.”

You can view the video of Donald Trump in the clip below.

Video via CNN

After viewing the footage, I ran to the bathroom and threw up.

Here’s why.

At the age of 16, I was raped.

I truly don’t know the year right off the top of my head. But I am 33 now, so a quick calculation tells me it must have been 2002 when my life suddenly became… not fun anymore.

So it was 2002. I can recall, after some consideration, that it was April or May. April, I think. But I couldn’t tell you the exact date. I just know that in June I moved to a different town because I had to.

This was an age before smartphones, before Facebook even. I do not have a backlog of Facebook messages or WhatsApp texts or emails or a Google calendar to scroll through to help me get my timeline straight.

And as a high school student, the only dates I ever really kept track of were birthdays, holidays and exams.

In case it isn’t already clear, I didn’t report my rape. If I had, perhaps police statements, hospital reports and court documentation would help support my timeline or events.

Unfortunately, I was just too fucking terrified to even consider it.

According to Donald Trump, me not knowing those exact details of what happened to me – not having them down on record – makes me a liar. An unreliable witness. A forgetful, drunk, dishonest, deceitful woman.

Dr.-Christine-Blasey-Ford-
Dr Christine Blasey-Ford is sworn in prior to giving testimony. Image: Getty.
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But the things I do remember - those details that will be ingrained in me for the rest of my life - are for me, far more damning than a precise timeline.

I remember a door slamming shut and knowing it might not open again while I was still alive. And I remember knowing that if it did open again, I would walk out of it a completely different person, leaving part of me behind in that room.

I remember that in the eye of a brutal physical assault, I did not think about pain or self-defence or escape. I thought of my mum and dad and I wondered if I would ever see them again. To this day, the clarity of that memory in the face of what I was being subjected to brings me to tears.

I remember sensations. Cold, hard, sharp, rough. Smells: rancid, sweet, putrid. My own perfume that I will never, ever spray on my skin again. If I pass someone in the street wearing the same scent, I might vomit.

I remember words. Insults. Saliva projected on to my face.

That door finally opening. Running outside. Minutes? No, hours and hours later. My face tight and twisted with swelling. My body, no longer my own.

But that wasn't even the end. It was actually just the beginning. Now, 17 years later, I don't remember the date. I don't remember the time of day. Or what the weather was like. Or what I was wearing.

But I can assure you - and Donald Trump - and anyone who may wish to doubt me, that I am a most credible witness.

Because that attack - like Christine Blasey-Ford's - is with me now. And as much we would like to swap those memories - vivid and lived - for a logical, ordered interpretation that can be neatly typed out and filed away, we simply cannot.

If this article brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service

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