Ronald Reagan's Daughter Comes Forward as Sexual Assault Survivor

Patti Davis, daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, shared her story of sexual assault on Friday in an op-ed published by the Washington Post, in the hopes of adding to the conversation about Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

Davis, a successful novelist in her own right, told the story of a sexual assault she suffered about 40 years ago, in the hopes of helping to explain why women do not always report these kinds of attacks. She explained that she was in a "suspiciously late" meeting with a music executive, whom she hoped would help her build a career as a professional songwriter. Instead, the man offered her cocaine, did some himself, and then promptly attacked her.

Davis described the assault in grim detail. She took care in explaining the kind of sensory impressions a trauma like that can leave on a victim, and the kind of logistical details it can leave out.

"I felt alone, ashamed and disgusted with myself," she wrote. "Why didn't I get out of there? Why didn't I push him off? Why did I freeze?"

"I don't remember what month it was," she continued. "I don't remember whether his assistant was still there when I arrived. I don't remember whether we said anything to each other when I left his office."

As for the question of reporting the attack, Davis tried her best to relay the mixture of shame and confusion that she believe seems to believe prevented her and women like Christine Blasey Ford from coming forward.

"Your memory snaps photos of the details that will haunt you forever, that will change your life and live under your skin," she wrote. "It blacks out other parts of the story that really don't matter much."

Davis argued, as many others have, that Blasey is "brave" for sharing her memory now, and that it is important "because of what is at stake for this country." She concluded by stating that the call to investigate her story "isn't a big ask. Unless they just want her to go away. Which is, by the way, one reason that women are scared to speak up."

0comments

Davis' story and her call to action conflict with the analyses of many other pundits and officials, who have drawn the opposite conclusion from the same facts. Many in the news -- particularly those in what used to be her father's party -- feel that Blasey's timing represents an opportunistic impulse. Blasey herself has said that she resisted coming forward for as long as possible, knowing that it would cause a media frenzy she did not want to deal with.

Blasey formally agreed to testify in Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing on Saturday, according to Fox News. She will reportedly appear in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.