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Opinion

Readers React: Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination shows why women don’t speak up about sexual assault

Protesters Demonstrate Against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh On Day Of Hearing With His Accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Protestors rally against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in Washington on Sept. 27.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

To the editor: In response to Gabrielle Selz’s article article on women not speaking about sexual assault because no one hears, it’s better to say that women don’t tell because no one listens.

Women don’t make up stories like this. These assaults are seared into our brains. We remember what the person looks like, what he wore, the place where it happened, what his hands did.

The Republicans who have stated they will go forward with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation are not hearing because they are not listening. They have closed their ears and their minds. A full investigation needs to take place, not a rush job to fill a most important position.

I thank Ford for coming forward. I think she is extremely brave and I have great admiration for her. I also thank Selz, another brave woman, for writing this article.

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Carmela Elsley, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: From the perspective of a male who never has suffered sexual harassment, I may not fully comprehend how hard it is for a woman to recount her experience as a sexual assault victim. But I am eternally grateful to victimized women who so courageously go public.

Their poignant accounts do more than identify suspects who should be prosecuted. They serve to expose society’s inexcusable tolerance for males’ sexual improprieties. Attitudes that kept the “unchaste victim” defense available to rape defendants during the last century have been slow to dissipate.

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I applaud Selz. As more brave women like her share their stories, I feel increasingly confident that fewer of my female relatives will experience the horror of sexual assault.

Greg Gilbert, Burney, Calif.

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