The GoFundMe campaign to cover Ford’s security expenses exceeded its $175K goal.
A GoFundMe campaign to cover security costs for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accuser this week blew through its goal to raise more than $200,000.
The fundraiser to help protect Christine Blasey Ford, the Palo Alto University professor who says Kavanaugh groped and attempted to rape her when they were both in high school, raised $209,987 from 6,658 people. The campaign’s organizer, Georgetown Law professor Heidi Li Feldman, launched it Tuesday — steadily raising the fundraising goal to an eventual $175,000 — after Ford’s attorneys said their client had received death threats.
Feldman, who says she doesn’t know Ford personally, wrote on GoFundMe that her campaign aimed “to do just a bit to make it easier for women in her position to come forward despite great risks.” She started the fundraiser, she added, “to make concrete the power of collective action in providing security, and therefore support, for Dr. Blasey’s willingness to contribute to a thorough, fair vetting of a nominee for Supreme Court Justice.”
Sexual harassment and assault victims often risk retaliation, stigma, their careers and their reputations when they speak out against perpetrators. For example, 75% of employees who spoke out against mistreatment faced some type of retaliation in a 2003 report cited by the EEOC.
Feldman said she had been in contact with Ford’s reps, who confirmed to her that “she needs and will accept our assistance with security costs.”
The campaign is no longer accepting donations. “I appreciate how many people have urged me to keep this fundraiser going indefinitely, but there are many important causes and I want to take care not detract unduly from others,” the Georgetown prof explained in an update regarding the fundraising cutoff.
Ford attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks sent a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley asking for an FBI investigation into her claims before senators hold a hearing. They added that while Ford had received a swell of support since going public on Sunday, “her worst fears” had also materialized.
“She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats,” the attorneys wrote. “As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online.”
Grassley said in a Wednesday letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that he would reopen the confirmation hearing Monday to gather testimony from both Kavanaugh and Ford, issuing a 10 a.m. Friday deadline for Ford’s team to respond. Ford lawyer Banks, meanwhile, told CNN that “the rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the Committee discovering the truth.”
Kavanaugh, nominated by President Trump in July to serve on the nation’s highest court, has denied Ford’s allegation.
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