Blasey Ford’s Testimony Raises Questions About Sexual Abuse: Fargo Professionals Give Insight

Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted...some of who take years to tell their story

FARGO, N.D. — All eyes and ears across the country were on the Kavanaugh hearing.

Many people on social media say the stories told on Capitol Hill have triggered their own past experiences.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen learned more from professionals about victims coming forward.

Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted…some of who take years to tell their story.

“When something happens and it’s confusing and you don’t know for sure what happened and what was my role in this and you go through this period of self–blame and I think we are socially taught,” said Myla Korbel, the Program Director of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.

As Christine Blasey Ford took the stand, many took to their keyboards to question her testimony.

Some asking ‘why first come out about your traumatic experience decades later?’

“…so when I have a chance to be older maybe and I have gained knowledge and awareness and confidence and maybe gained a safe place and comfort zone, I will want to come forward if I am a person who has experienced that and never told,” Korbel said.

Those comments on social media bringing back harsh realities for many survivors.

“It takes them back to what that feeling of fear, embarrassment, shock, disbelief, somehow I’m less than, I’m minimized, I’ve been deceived, I’ve been betrayed, I can’t trust, that why me?” Korbel said.

While others praised her courage and supported with “#metoo.”

“The difference is right now, people are feeling more empowered to speak out, which is a wonderful thing because as we know when we break the silence and we break the secrecy that’s when cultural change can happen,” said Mel Firestine, the Prevention Education Director.

Those at the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo say its normal for many to keep their scars a secret; everyone has their own reasons and their own journey.

The facts still remain. Hundreds are affected by sexual assault and what happens in Washington, doesn’t affect community support systems.

“We’re here to offer help, hope and healing and to just listen,” Firestine said.

They say there are small steps to make bigger differences.

“This is everybody’s issue. This is not just a women’s issue this is an everybody issue. It’s going to take all of us to change the culture. It’s going to take all of us having these conversations It’s going to take all of us breaking the silence standing up for one another, believing one another and just saying we’re not going to do this anymore this isn’t the way things are going to be. This is going to change,” Firestine said.

Today’s message; if you start by helping one person, it could change the culture.

If you are looking for help or a safe space, don’t hesitate to call the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.

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