**This page contains information about sexual assault and/or violence, which may be triggering to survivors.**
Christine Blasey Ford, a survivor of sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, "I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified." Terrified to re-live her assault, terrified to be torn down by officials that we elected to office, terrified to live because her life and the lives of her family have been threatened by people who do not believe her.
I believe her.
And I believe you.
And I'm sorry you had to go through it.
If you are one of the 1 in 3 women who has been sexually assaulted in her lifetime, I am sorry. I am sorry it happened and I am sorry that you have endured a barrage of triggering headlines and notifications and Tweets about sexual assault over the past few weeks, and especially today. I see you and I hear you.
I felt powerless when I heard Christine Blasey Ford say, "I am terrified." But then I remembered you. You are powerful, Bish. You are strong and capable and full of powers ready to be unleashed at a moment's notice (but seriously if you haven't read The Power, you should).
If you need a day or a week to recharge your power, take it. Rest and heal and mourn and sit with whatever you need to sit with. If you want to speak with someone, you can call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider. You can also connect with SARNCO, the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, which provides advocacy and emotional support services.
If you're compelled to take action and stand with women right now, especially survivors, here are some of your most powerful tools in action.
Today, tell your friends and family that you #StandWithWomen. Your voice is oh so powerful, Bish. We made it easy for you to ignite your network. Download the #StandWithWomen social media toolkit here.
More women in office means more of our voices being heard. Make sure you are registered to vote in Ohio, and when you vote, support strong female candidates like Louise Valentine, a fiercely passionate voice for families and children in Ohio.
Your money, no matter the amount, is part of your power. Use it to lift up one of these causes championing women and girls in Ohio:
ROX, a 20-week empowerment program for girls in grades 5-12 to create stronger girls, safer schools and successful students
ROOTT, a reproductive justice organization dedicated to supporting the maternal and infant health of women of color through doula services, training, research, education, and consultation
The Women's Public Policy Network, made up of more than 25 organizations uses a collective voice representing women of Ohio, ensuring that our public policies lifts up the true needs of women and families
You are powerful, Bish. I hope you find comfort in the power of this sisterhood of this network and the power of your own assets beyond those listed above: your kindness, your tenacity, your bravery, and your strength. But if this letter leaves you feeling one thing, I hope you feel seen. I see you. We see you. Let's stand together.
Founder of the Bad Bish Network