This is my open letter to evangelical women who, like Beth Moore, are courageously championing the movement hashtagged #BelieveWomen and #WhyIDidntReport.
While many evangelicals have cast aspersions upon the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez regarding their accusations of sexual impropriety committed at the hands of Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, I fully applaud the notion that women should be believed despite the lack of solid evidence against the accused. For far too long the patriarchy has insisted that victims of abuse be able to provide dates, times, and specific accusations when it comes to their claims of victimization. What I can tell you first hand is that women should be trusted, even when the evidence is lacking. Their testimony alone is “evidence.”
I encourage women to follow the lead of sister Beth Moore in understanding that women should be trusted until there’s evidence exonerating the perpetrator, rather than convicting them. The testimony of a woman is enough, in and of itself, to presume the guilt of men who are accused of a sexual indiscretion. The following is my story:
I am a woman of significant credentials. I am married to a man of high political office and never thought I could be the victim of an attempted rape. And yet, I am. Furthermore, I cannot believe that since the time of the incident, that individual has grown in prominence among religious believers and is today considered one of the chief religious leaders not only of our time, but of all time. In fact, it is safe to say that his rise in religious prominence is explicitly due to systemic Patriarchy in religious circles, and it’s time the world should know.
While in the privacy of my own home, I was approached by a young man who made sexual advances. As a woman of modesty and integrity, and married no less, I turned down his forward advances. I was surprised at his attempt to rape me because he was an employee of my husband. I considered him a close confidant and friend, and beholden to my husband. And yet, like many men – if not most – he refused the boundaries I had in place.
Essentially, he came to me and propositioned himself. He said, “lie with me.” Taken aback, I refused immediately. He did not relent. He claimed that he had been given control over everything in my husband’s house, including me. He demanded that we have sex. Again, I refused. I even asked him, “How you can do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
But, he advanced upon me anyway.
He tried to rape me, but I grabbed his shirt and defended myself. I immediately called the authorities and alerted them, “He came in to me to have sex with me and I cried out with a loud voice. As soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his shirt beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
Thankfully, the authorities believed a woman, and the perpetrator was apprehended and thrown into jail.
Over time, however, I see that he has risen to among the highest ranks of his religion, respected and promoted. Sadly, not everyone believes women and it has led to this grave miscarriage of justice. After all, I immediately reported the incident and I have his shirt. Nonetheless, it seems not to have mattered.
Let this be a lesson to everyone reading my account. You should believe women. No matter what, whether or not the evidence presents itself. The Patriarchy has ruled long enough, and it’s time for women to be believed.
While I’ll take leave of my first name for this letter, I’ll still identify myself for the sake of the record.
[Editor’s Note: For more information about this scandal, consult Genesis 39]