On Sept. 27, I looked Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins dead in the eye and choked out the story of my rape, which happened in June. I spared her few details.

I didn’t expect my story to drastically alter her stance on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, which I suspected added up to reasonably strong support. I hoped to sow seeds of doubt, to lay out this survivor’s warped recollection of time and place, the shame and doubt that dammed me up and the fear of brutal, dehumanizing cross-examination that kept me from attempting to press charges. My story is not unlike Christine Blasey Ford’s. And it happened only 3½ months ago.

My thoughts were twofold at heart. The very points used to discredit Ford are classic signs of sexual assault. And, perhaps even more pertinent to the confirmation, Kavanaugh attempted to dispel these charges by verbally assaulting women senators on the Judiciary Committee. Didn’t that create enough doubt about Kavanaugh’s character to reconsider granting him a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the nation?

I guess not.

My perp was a Tinder date: white, wealthy, young, well thought of in his community. He had a casual, appealing intellect that attracted me. Maybe, like many cunning sex criminals, he knew how to groom me, how to tap in to the qualities I most desired in a mate or a lover. I didn’t see the attack coming. There was pain and blood and a clear violation of consent. I said “no” again and again. But the sadist had emerged.

I cannot recall what my perp and I talked about for hours, nor the time or date of the assault. I forgot his name for a time. The rape, however, is alive in my mind.

Ford said she will never forget the laughter of the boys who assaulted her. I’ll never forget how my perp called me “good girl,” the quiet sneer of it betraying not an ounce of stress. He’d done this before. The worst night of my life was, to him, probably just another evening. That, my friends, is hell.

Collins was visibly shaken by my story. She reached out to me and hugged me as I left. She made direct, intentional eye contact as she thanked me. It felt impactful.

Today, I feel betrayed. I feel betrayed on behalf of my 10-year-old daughter, Maine women and American women. I believe the senator’s mind was made up before four other survivors and I walked into that meeting at the Capitol. At the time it felt like such a triumph. But it’s clear from Collins’ detailed remarks, delivered Friday on the Senate floor, that she had been working on her defense of Kavanaugh for weeks.

And, once again, a woman’s story of sexual assault is not enough. It’s never enough. Convictions and, often, belief of friends and family elude us. Shame and doubt nip at our heels. Collins had a chance to take it seriously, to look closely at the way Kavanaugh treats women and allow questions about his character to come into play. That chance is gone.

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