Thirty years ago, Anita Hill testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. It was then that she detailed allegations of being sexually harassed by Thomas when she worked with him at two separate federal departments. Now, Hill has published a new book detailing the stories of a range of gender violence victims, and challenges leaders to begin rectifying the problem.
“It’s much more urgent than what we recognize and what leaders in this country recognize.” —Anita Hill, author of ”Believing”
While conversations about gender violence have broadened, Hill says much needs to be done to change the processes by which consequences are enacted for perpetrators.
Listen: Anita Hill talks about her new book “Believing.”
Anita Hill is a professor of social policy, law, and women’s and gender studies at Brandeis University. Her new book is “Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence.”
Hill says Senate testimonial experiences in 2018 by Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged being the victim of sexual violence from now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, was not much different from her own. “It was harrowing, it was unclear,” Hill says of her testimonial experience. “There were attacks on my credibility, there were attacks on my character and, of course, there were attacks on the validity of my experience.”
After the hearing decades ago, Hill says she was approached by people who wanted to share their experiences as victims of abusive behavior, ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to incest and bullying. “The problem is bigger than me, it’s bigger than sexual harassment, it’s bigger than 1991,” she says. “It’s much more urgent than what we recognize and what leaders in this country recognize.”