The North America MenEngage Network (NAMEN) is the US/Canada regional network of organizations and individuals working with men and boys to achieve gender equality, end violence, and promote health for men, women and children in North America. NAMEN is a regional member of the Global MenEngage Alliance, a network of NGOs and UN agencies that seeks to engage boys and men to achieve gender equality. At the international level, members include more than 400 NGOs from Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Asia and Europe.
To support efforts of “liberty and justice for all”, NAMEN is requesting, in solidarity with the millions of women and girls and boys sexually assaulted in this country, that you vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the US Supreme Court. Our membership has extensive experience working with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, men who have perpetrated sexual assault and domestic violence, and the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence. Based on our collective expertise, there is substantial reason to believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and substantial reason to doubt Mr. Kavanaugh.
Judge Kavanaugh’s presentation to the Judicial Committee is identical to behaviors and strategies of offenders who routinely deny their behaviors while presenting themselves as victims of those they have abused. This was very evident in Judge Kavanaugh’s opening statement, his demeanor, and his frequent lack of response to specific questions from the committee. Furthermore, his behavior during this hearing raises serious doubts as to his ability to serve in an impartial and reasoned manner on the highest court of the land. His behavior demonstrates a willingness to bully, dismiss, and intimidate those who disagree with him; an appalling premise of entitlement that grounds his beliefs and actions; and a total disregard for passionate, thorough, reasoned debate.
Dr. Ford responded respectfully to all questions fully and directly. Her courage (there have been death threats… she had to move her family) and commitment to the integrity of the democratic structure of governance in the United States, was profound. An inspiration for all U.S. citizens that this is a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
As citizens, we bear a responsibility to ensure that all people are provided equal opportunity and are treated with respect and dignity. And that our governance structure assures those democratic principles will be adhered to. That commitment was expressed and witnessed by Dr Ford’s testimony.
As representatives of the people, and stakeholders of the future integrity of this country, you hold in your hands the immense opportunity to shift the social/cultural norms which have resulted in 1 in 3 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetime. You have the opportunity to take a stand, in this process of confirmation to the Supreme Court, on behalf of these women. It is rare that a survivor comes forward to lie about a sexual assault. It is common that offenders will deny their behavior.
The hearing was not a trial, but a confirmation. As such, the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is not appropriate or relevant. In light of this, we request that you consider the information provided, and the testimony offered, and make your determinations based on the “likelihood” that Dr. Ford is telling the truth, and Judge Kavanaugh is not.
It is also significant that two other women, Julie Swetnick and Debra Ramirez, have come forward identifying Brett Kavanaugh as the perpetrator of other sexually abusive behaviors, toward them, as he grew older. Again, this is very common behavior for teenage boys who have been abusive, to continue this sexual abuse into adulthood. Simply considering it, part of the “fun”.
This has to change. This is too common. One in three women are abused by men in their lifetime. The senate needs to provide a message to boys and men in America that this behavior will no longer be tolerated. The primary question becomes… do we care about women’s lives? This is a moment in history where that answer can be a profound YES!
We ask again that you vote NO on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Craig Norberg-Bohm, Co-Chairperson
Magaly Marques, Co-Chairperson