Expert: Trump on Kavanaugh hearing inspire sexual assault victims to report or scare into silence

Trumps Ford mockery can inspire or scare victims
Posted at 10:04 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 00:28:00-04

DENVER -- The debate on Capitol Hill and across America brings out different emotions for different people. Local help lines and support centers for sexual assault victims have seen an uptick in calls. Denver7 spoke to an expert about how this can re-traumatize victims or push them to report.

If you didn’t see it, you likely heard about President Trump's comments on Dr. Blasey-Ford's testimony alleging Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her many years ago.

"A man's life is shattered. His wife is shattered, his daughters…" said Trump at a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday.

Metro State victim advocate counselor and gender studies teacher Katherine Miller told Denver7 she has already seen more people come forward and share their stories of sexual assault.

“We will absolutely see a surge in people that want to come forward to honor Dr. Ford's story and to honestly honor their own," said Miller.

But it can be two-fold as victims can relive the trauma.

"That's why we talk about healing as something you do for the rest of your life because you could be triggered at any time at any moment," said Miller.

Trump's message, she said, focused on the harm to Judge Kavanaugh and casting doubt on Blasey-Ford’s testimony.

She believes it not only helps perpetuate gender roles, but brings false reporting to the forefront.

“Ideas of hyper-masculinity, and you need to be powerful and you need to be aggressive to be a man really lends itself to violence and locker room talk,” said Miller.

According to statistics and studies, Miller said false reporting is the exception, not the rule.

"A majority of the time when people are coming forward to report they're telling the truth and we should believe them,'' said Miller.

Earlier in the week, Trump himself called Blasey-Ford a credible witness, but Wednesday his team focused on a lack of evidence.

"No one is looking at whether or not the accusations made are corroborated whether or not there's evidence to support them," said White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press briefing this Wednesday.