CNN's Brooke Baldwin Tears Up While Speaking for Survivors: 'We All Have Our Stories'

Illustration for article titled CNNs Brooke Baldwin Tears Up While Speaking for Survivors: We All Have Our Stories
Screenshot: CNN

CNN Newsroom’s Brooke Baldwin ended her Friday afternoon program with a monologue, giving voice to survivors of sexual assault sharing their truth in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Brett Kavanaugh.

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“We all have our stories,” Baldwin said, voice steady as her eyes became glassy with tears. “The spiked drink. Waking up on the cold tiles of a hotel bathroom floor. The uncertainty. The shame. The thought I must have somehow brought this on myself. The silence, distrust, and invalidation. This is a pivotal moment in America for all of us.”

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Baldwin added, “This matters. This moment is bigger than politics.”

Ford’s testimony moved millions of Americans and brought untold numbers of survivors out of the shadows. Baldwin spoke of a young woman in her office sharing her own story after Ford’s hearing. C-SPAN’s talk line was flooded with stories from sexual assault survivors, including a 76-year-old woman whose story of being molested as a second grader went viral. This morning, 23-year-old Maria Gallagher said she had never told anyone about her sexual assault until she ambushed Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator, potentially prompting Flake to call for a more thorough investigation into Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh.

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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DISCUSSION

So I’ve been severely triggered this week. I have been sexually assualted 3 times in my life but the one that resonated with me most this week was when I was 16. I was at a small gathering (8-10 people) drinking Coronas. My best friends boyfriend was there but she was not. I went outside to have a cigarette and he came out there and made small talk and asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. Not knowing his intentions at the time since I was a virgin I said sure. It was an apartment complex and there was a laundry room with the door unlocked and he said “let’s sit in here and chill” again not knowing what he wanted from me and I felt safe because he was my best friends boyfriend. Long story short I remember clear as day him aggressively making out with me and me telling him to stop. We were sitting on the dryers and he pinned me back. I remember his weight on me, I remember him taking off my pants, I even remember what he was wearing (white t shirt, jeans and sneakers), and I even remember what he smelled like. I told him no several times and i also tried to push him off me but his weight was too heavy (he was a freshman in college). I was a virgin and he inserted his penis, a pain I will never forget.  But much like Dr Ford I don’t remember the date nor remember how I got home. I remember his name and his face very, very clearly though. I watched the hearings and the whole time I was thinking they would not believe.e if I was up there at this moment. I’m not sharing my story for pity or for I’m sorry that happened to u....I’m sharing my story so there is a clear understanding that victims/survivors never forget. We never forget our abusers face, smell, laughter. The little details of how we got home we may forget and that’s ok. But the lasting effects our abusers have on us we never forget.