Ellen DeGeneres is 'furious' people don't believe victims of sexual assault
Last week Dr. Christine Blasey Ford courageously came forward to report her experience as a victim of sexual assault. She alleged that Brett Kavanaugh, the current Supreme Court Justice nominee, assaulted her when they were teenagers at a high school party. She claims he pinned her down on the bed, attempted to remove her clothing, and covered her mouth so she couldn't scream. Her emotional testimony to the Senate Judiciary committee was riveting.
President Trump called Ford a "credible witness," then completely contradicted himself at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday. The president mocked Ford's testimony, ridiculing her for not remembering all the details about her alleged sexual assault. "How did you get home? I don’t remember. How did you get there? I don’t remember, mocked Trump. "Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know." His adoring fans laughed and applauded.
Many people found Trump's mock question-and-answer session infuriating. One, his portrayal of the psychology professor's testimony was not accurate. And two, it's common for sexual assault survivors not to remember every single detail about a distressing event. Speaking with TIME, psychologist Jim Hopper explained, "When stress or fear or trauma kicks in, the brain shifts into a mode when the hippocampus goes into a super-encoding mode, in which those central details really get burned in and the peripheral details are lost."
Recently Ellen DeGeneres sat down for an interview with Today's Savannah Guthrie. Ellen's known for being lighthearted, but this conversation turned serious. Savannah asked Ellen how "this moment" - presumably referring to Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh - has impacted her personally. The talk host responded by opening up about her experience as a victim of sexual abuse.
"Well as a victim of sexual abuse, I am furious at people who don't believe it — and who say, 'How do you not remember exactly what day it was?' You know, you don't remember those things. What you remember is what happened to you and where you were and how you feel. I think anybody who has gone through it, right now is watching this so angry because you know, how dare you not believe us?"
This week Ellen shared her story of sexual assault on her show, while interviewing actress Busy Philipps. "I was 15 and I had something happen to me," said Ellen "When I watched Dr. Ford — anyone who has had something happen to them, you just get so angry when someone doesn’t believe you or says, ‘Why did you wait so long?’ It’s because we’re girls and we’re taught not to say anything and go along with it. So you at 14, me at 15, God knows how many people in this audience have had something happen."
Well, hopefully now there will be greater awareness about sexual assault survivor's experiences. Today's full interview with Ellen comes out on Friday.