Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not prevent him from ultimately being confirmed for the seat. However, the ACLU of Southern California honored her with the Roger Baldwin Courage Award on Sunday.
Blasey Ford received both support and scrutiny for her testimony against Kavanaugh. Her claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers led to him being investigated and ultimately cleared and confirmed to the Supreme Court. A staunch conservative, Kavanaugh has tipped the balance of the court to the right.
“When I came forward last September, I did not feel courageous,” she said upon accepting the award at the ALCU’s Bill of Rights dinner. “I was simply doing my duty as a citizen.”
Blasey Ford’s testimony spotlighted the issue of alleged survivors of sexual assault having their claims dismissed. Blasey Ford has not made many public appearances since her fall 2018 testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Blasey Ford says donations went toward hiring security for her and her family because she had received threats.
“I understood that not everyone would welcome my information, and I was prepared for a variety of outcomes, including being dismissed,” she said. “I was not prepared for the venom, the persistent attacks. I was not prepared to be physically threatened and forced out of my home.”
Last month, Blasey Ford appeared in Santa Clara, Calif., to accept the YWCA of Silicon Valley’s 2019 Empowerment Award. She was also listed in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019 list.
“Her courage, in the face of those who wished to silence her, galvanized Americans,” Sen. Kamala Harris, who wrote Blasey Ford’s entry on the Time 100 list, said. “And her unfathomable sacrifice, out of a sense of civic duty, shined a spotlight on the way we treat survivors of sexual violence.”
Others to receive the ACLU’s Roger Baldwin Courage Award include the Central Park Five — Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The young Black and Latino men were wrongfully convicted of the 1989 rape of a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.
Kavanaugh has vehemently and angrily denied Blasey Ford’s allegations against him. Those in support of him argued Blasey Ford’s testimony was a Democratic political move to stop the appointment of a right-wing judge.
Last week, Kavanaugh appeared in Washington to address the conservative legal foundation, The Federalist Society. Outside of the building, protesters played videos of Blasey Ford’s testimony on a large screen and donned the red robes and white hoods of the reproductive slaves in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian-novel-turned-Hulu-series, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Blasey Ford’s words at Sunday’s ACLU dinner earned her a standing ovation from the crowd.
“My voice was just one voice,” she said. “You are many. We are many.”