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September 28, 2018

USA TODAY Op-Ed: Moving Beyond 'he said, she said' in Kavanaugh Case

On Friday, September 28th, USA TODAY published an opinion piece by Professor Rachael VanLandingham wherein she discusses her perspective on the Brett Kavanagh confirmation hearings.

In the piece, VanLandingham shares her experience as a former judge advocate in the U.S. Military and argues against framing uncorroborated reports of sexual assault as merely “he said, she said,” a shorthand for a perceived lack of evidence. 

[The "he said,she said"] perspective, is a “cop-out often informed by inaccurate stereotypes of sexual assault victims.”

VanLandingham submits that “a witness’s statement is of course evidence, and that the strength, or lack thereof, of such evidence, is informed by common-sense credibility assessments. In other words, ‘he said, she said’ is a myth, a non-existent phenomenon.”

She expresses optimism that the military has begun to reform in the ways that she had advocated for, and hopes the judicial system – and society at large – will follow suit.

Read the full article here.

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