Dr. Christine Blasey Ford this week presented the Sports Illustrated Inspiration of the Year Award to Rachael Denhollander, the woman who first publicly accused former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. In what marked her first public spoken statements since testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about suffering an alleged sexual assault at the hands of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Ford thanked Denhollander for setting off a chain of events that culminated in more than 300 young women and girls coming forward with allegations of abuse against Nassar, and the sentencing of the doctor to imprisonment for the remainder of his life.
“I am honored to speak with you from afar about a woman I admire so much, a woman who suffered abuse as a vulnerable teenage athlete, who found the courage to talk publicly to stop the abuse of others,” said Ford in the presentation video. “Her courage inspired others survivors to end their silence, and we all know the result.”
“Rachael Denhollander, I am in awe of you, and I will always be inspired by you,” she continued. “In stepping forward, you took a huge risk and you galvanized future generations to come forward, even when the odds are seemingly stacked against them. The lasting lesson is that we all have the power to create real change, and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others.”
Watch Ford’s video for Denhollander below.
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