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As news breaks of a third woman accusing Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, three girls in Idaho are expressing support for the first woman to come forward — Christine Blasey Ford — for her Thursday testimony. The girls, identified by their first names, penned a letter this week on Change.org with a simple title: “We are fifteen-year-old girls. We are with you Christine Blasey Ford, PhD.”
According to the Idaho Statesman, the girls are Treasure Valley high school students in Boise, Idaho, as well as members of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, they said the idea came from Kelly Miller, the executive director of the Idaho Coalition. “We understand what it is like to be 15, because we are 15, and felt connected to her experience,” Charlotte told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We thought, ‘We can do this!’” added Layla.
The letter discusses what it’s like to be young, as well as the trauma of being violated. “We are fifteen-year-old girls. Fifteen. The same age you were when seventeen-year-old Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you, when he put his hand over your mouth so no one could hear you scream,” it reads. “We imagine you at that party, so young and vivacious, with your whole life ahead of you, and we see ourselves. Our hearts break for the fifteen-year-old girl who walked in, and how different that girl was who walked out.”
It goes on to commend Ford’s strength in speaking out — and urges her to stay strong. “Now is a courageous time and a brave time, too, to finally let your voice be heard,” it reads. “Telling your truth will get us one step closer to the world we want to live into; one where seventeen-year-old boys are taught that it is not ok to exploit girls and that fifteen-year-old girls know their bodies are their own.”
The letter ends with a call to action. “You are strong and the fifteen-year-old girl in you is strong,” it reads. “We are with you and so is everyone who signs this letter.” As of Wednesday afternoon, it was just 2,000 signatures shy of the 75,000 ask — which the girls told Yahoo Lifestyle they were heartened by.
A letter from three 15-year-old's to the 15-year-old still inside Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We believe you. We support you.
"You speaking up is powerful. We can’t trust Kavanaugh to make decisions that will impact girls./1
— Idaho Coalition (@EngagingVoices) September 19, 2018
“We wanted to inspire young women to tell their stories, no matter how long it’s been or if they fear the person’s position,” Layla told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We want them to have the courage to come forward and tell their truth.”
“We want to stand up and show how strong Christine is and was — and that 15-year-old girls everywhere do not need to be afraid to tell their story,” Charlotte declared. “We want to end the stigma that adults are smarter than young people. Our letter was successful because we are 15. Don’t just dismiss people because of their age.”
The girls said that this was the purpose of the letter — to shed light on what it’s like to be this age. “We hope people will take away a deeper understanding of girls our age and an empathy for Christine and for her experience,” said Layla. “We hope everyone sees this still impacts girls and women, no matter how far in the past it’s been,” Charlotte added.
But, interestingly, the girls said that other women aren’t their only intended audience. “We hope boys read this letter and learn from it,” Jessica told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We want boys to have these conversations with their fathers, friends, and with girls.” Whether or not Ford has read the letter, Jessica hopes that it will make a difference in how people view 15-year-old girls and boys.
“We want to thank everyone for signing the letter,” Jessica said. “We are so hopeful that we are all joining together and telling our truth.”