Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez: “This Is How Victims Are Isolated and Silenced”

“I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way.”

Tom Williams/AP

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In a statement released Saturday, Deborah Ramirez—who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her while the two were at Yale—said senators, like her classmates at Yale, are “deliberately ignoring [Kavanaugh’s] behavior.”

“I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way…This is how victims are isolated and silenced,” she said. 

The Senate is expected to confirm Kavanaugh Saturday, with a vote set to happen midafternoon Eastern time.

Although the weeks building up to Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote have been painful for survivors of sexual assault, Ramirez ends her statement on a hopeful note, saying, “There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors.”

Here is her full statement

Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh. As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior. This is how victims are isolated and silenced.

But I do have corroborating witnesses speaking for me, although they were not allowed to speak to the FBI, and I feel extremely grateful for them and for the overwhelming amount of support that I have received and continue to receive during this extremely difficult and painful time. There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors. This is truly a collective moment of survivors and allies standing together.

Thank you for hearing me, seeing me and believing me. I am grateful for each and every one of you. We will not be silenced.

We stand in truth and light,

Debbie Ramirez
(pronouns she, her, hers)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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