CLEVELAND, Ohio — The President & CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center wrote an emotional letter to survivors of sexual violence.
It comes following several weeks of intense back and forth regarding the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He was accused of sexual misconduct by Christine Blasey Ford.
“The last few weeks have been painful. The news. The social media posts. The politicians who had a lot to say about sexual assault, but were not interested in listening,” Sondra Miller wrote in a letter posted to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center website Monday.
“I am sorry for every moment when you felt like your story was challenged, your truth questioned or your experience ridiculed. We know it feels personal. It is personal. And it’s not OK.”
“Every time our society demeans, belittles, mocks, patronizes, ignores or vilifies a survivor who comes forward, it becomes harder for other survivors to come forward with their stories of rape and sexual abuse,” she wrote.
Miller said the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center sees survivors each day who aren’t believed. She said the work she and her staff do is more important than ever.
“Preventing sexual violence is not only possible, it is possible without our lifetimes,” Miller wrote. “But first our society must change the culture that silences survivors’ stories and leaves power and privilege unchecked. This is not easy work, but we are up for the challenge.”
“To those of you who felt safe enough to do so, thank you for using your voices to advocate for change. For those who have not yet decided to speak out, we support you in that decision too,” she wrote.
“Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is here 24/7 to listen and support you and we are as committed as ever to eradicating sexual violence from our world,” the letter concluded.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center can be reached by call or text at (216) 619-6192 or (440) 423-2020. You can also chat with a counselor online by clicking here.