Legal Momentum's Jennifer Becker spoke with New York Magazine's The Cut about the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Senator Dianne Feinstein's decision not to publicize the letter she received from a sexual assault survivor.
“At its root, sexual violence is about power and control, so for victims and survivors they often feel powerless,” Jennifer M. Becker, the deputy legal director for Legal Momentum, a women’s legal defense and education fund, told the Cut, adding that supporting survivors means helping them own their experiences on their own terms. “Respecting confidentiality is essential to doing just that. We need to always support survivors by giving them power and control over their own life experiences.”
As an advocate for these programs, it makes sense that Feinstein would have kept Ford’s accusation confidential, even though the letter doesn’t fall under the act’s protections. “She’s been a longtime supporter of VAWA and supporting survivors of violence,” Becker said. “In that sense, she is following the best practices that are informed by years and years of advocates and experts in the field of gender-based violence, who recognize that supporting survivors means giving them the choice of whether or not their story would be publicly accessible.”