Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

3 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Thank you. You are my hero.

I remember thinking I was a hero once. It was a long time ago. A powerful man tried to do that thing to me. I was only sixteen. I reported him within an hour after the event but was brushed off. Years later, I would learn that he raped a 10-year-old girl in his office while her mother sat in the waiting room. It was only a year after I reported him. That was 1970.

He was powerful indeed. He had written a book and had many powerful friends. Am I being redundant? Power. I tremble at the word. I’m old now, and it still makes me tremble.

After my allegations were ignored, I tried to put the event behind me. I feared retribution for my telling for months and then moved on. Something occurred thirteen years later that made me know I had a moral responsibility to move forward about what had happened. I had always known this man did not start or stop with me. I had to do my part—do what was right. I had no idea what kind of hell awaited me.

I started in 1981. I was after a predator. Unfortunately, he was also a doctor. My friend’s father had been a doctor and often told me that doctors never spoke out against doctors. I knew a doctor who was aware of at least one other victim. His name was Dr. Theodore Sheftel. I asked him for his help. He said no. I could see fear in his eyes through my fog of dismay.

“How can you look at your own children?” I said.

I knew I could not move him to help. Something held him back. I kept on trying, all the while being made to feel like a serial killer by other powerful men—not a hero. But in 1987 the phone rang and it was Sheftel.

“There’s another. Can I give her your number?” his voice was excited.

“Yes,” I said.

Sheftel took the bull by the horns and, from what I can glean, made phone calls to our Board of Medicine. The case took off. Other victims came forward. I drove some of them in to give their affidavits. I provided all the support I could. We succeeded—and failed. The man thwarted prosecution by disciplinarily resigning his license to practice medicine.

After 1981, Any record that I had been in the same space as the man had undergone a coordinated and systematic destruction. Other victims' records had not.

We had prosecutable cases, but they were hung out to dry. I didn’t connect the dots for years. I surmised the District Attorney's office didn’t want it to become public that they had declined to prosecute the man for his practices in 1977 for another case. He collected a state pension until the day he died for his crimes.

My reputation never recovered. An enormous number of powerful people had covered for this man. They nearly destroyed me, but at least I’m still breathing.

I understand, Dr. Ford, why you didn’t come forward years ago. It seems, in our society, that the victim is always revictimized as you are being now. Stand firm. You are speaking for victims everywhere. Have courage for us all.


Copyright 2018 Joyce Bowen

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About the Author:  Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker.  Inquiries can be made at crwriter@comcast.net


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Comments
#18
Chris \ud83d\udc1d Guest I have little doubt Kavanaugh will be confirmed regardless
#16
Depends on the state in which the crime is committed.
#13
Chris \ud83d\udc1d Guest If a boy of 17 walked up to you, stuck a gun in your face, and asked for your wallet; would you consider him for SCJ thirty or forty years later? If a boy of 17 walks up to me, tells me to lie down, and spred 'em, because what was going to happen was going to happen whether I liked it or not; do I consider him for SJC thirty or forty years later? Say that person walked up to you and told you to bend over; do you consider the same? His personality then is his personality now. His track record for compassion or lack of it has followed through over the years. The top 1% own more than the "Bottom" 99% combined. Humanity is in a phase of corporate fascism. At this point, it will take little more time before the bottom is starving or dying. It's happening to some now, but most of us who aren't at that point look at those people as a nuisance. The days of Eisenhower are gone. There was opportunity for all. No more. What most people don't get is that we pay one way or another, but we certainly pay.
#13
If a boy of 17 walked up to you, stuck a gun in your face, and asked for your wallet; would you consider him for SCJ thirty or forty years later? If a boy of 17 walks up to me, tells me to lie down, and spred 'em, because what was going to happen was going to happen whether I liked it or not; do I consider him for SJC thirty or forty years later? Say that person walked up to you and told you to bend over; do you consider the same? His personality then is his personality now. His track record for compassion or lack of it has followed through over the years. The top 1% own more than the "Bottom" 99% combined. Humanity is in a phase of corporate fascism. At this point, it will take little more time before the bottom is starving or dying. It's happening to some now, but most of us who aren't at that point look at those people as a nuisance. The days of Eisenhower are gone. There was opportunity for all. No more. What most people don't get is that we pay one way or another, but we certainly pay.
#11
Ken Boddie--that is the most frightening piece if this. There are many people that don't have consciences in the USA and around the world. What does that mean for those of us who do? You probably don't want to know. A few months ago, I saw a man who at least knew about the predator in our area. Let bygone be bygones, I figured and said hello. He made as if he didn't hear me even though we were two feet away. I spoke his name again and still no response. Did I make a mistake? No. He is what they call a professional if you can believe it. I looked Larry up on LinkedIn to see if it was mistaken identity, but no. It was him. If his intent was to hurt my feelings, he failed. These people don't have any compassion or empathy. They feel powerful enough to do whatever they please. And those of us who do have consciences are outnumbered.

Ken Boddie

3 years ago #9

Powerful piece, Joyce. One day 'Boys Clubs' will tumble and 'glass ceilings' along with them. It takes guts to stand up and be counted, both outside and inside the 'establishment'. But the truth nags until conscience acts.
my answer is below, Chris \ud83d\udc1d Guest
#8
I think if that were true, Feinstein would have immediately thrown Ford into the fray. There are boys in the Democratic population that are just as sure a woman's value lies in her... I'm a Socialist. My gut tells me Kavanaugh represents the worst of the worst. Hey--if he is lying about this one thing, he lies about many things. We don't need any more lies. But to be fair, I believe both sides lie. If what it takes in life for a woman to be heard in terms of control of her body is politics then so be it and shame on us.
#6
I really had no idea what was in store for me. Dr. Ford deserves the credit for courage. She's seen this before in the Anita Hill hearings. I really just wanted to make the point that even if she reported, those in power could easily disappear records. Mine were shredded. I couldn't have been more shocked. Then came the confabulations by people who called themselves professionals--or maybe that should be outright lies. In any case, I hope she weathers this well and moves on with her life.

Royce Shook

3 years ago #5

Thank you for sharing your story. Men need to listen and be prepared to support women when they share their stories. I am sad that many men do not have the courage that you had and that Dr. Blasey Ford has.
Thank you for the shares, Debasish Majumder
#3
Ir's most often about power and control, Kim Wheeler. It's the fear that excites.
#1
Thank you, Pascal Derrien.

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #1

My first thought was ''people do what they can not always what they want'' and then you challenge yourself by saying whatever it is you got to do the right, I think Joyce on many more level than you think you are a hero, a least to me you are :-)

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