By Heidi Stevens
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Columnist Heidi Stevens shares why Connie Chung’s recent letter in the Washington Post is isnpiring sexual assault survivors everywhere.
Connie Chung’s open letter to Christine Blasey Ford is powerful to a degree that’s almost impossible to quantify.
I’m going to try anyway.
In Chung’s essay, first published on Oct. 3 in the Washington Post, the broadcast journalist reveals that she was molested by her family doctor when she was in college.
“What made this monster even more reprehensible was that he was the very doctor who delivered me on Aug. 20, 1946,” Chung writes. “I’m 72 now.”
She chronicles the experience in gut-wrenching detail that both illustrates a typically gaping power differential, him, a long-practicing doctor, her a young college student; him, clothed and standing, her undressed and in stirrups, and reminds us, anew, how much survivors choose to reveal when they come forward.
“While I stared at the ceiling, his right index finger massaged my clitoris,” Chung writes. “With his right middle finger inserted in my vagina, he moved both fingers rhythmically. He coached me verbally in a soft voice, ‘Just breathe. ‘Ah-ah,’ mimicking the sound of soft breathing. ‘You’re doing fine,’ he assured me.
“Suddenly, to my shock, I had an orgasm for the first time in my life. My body jerked several times. Then he leaned over, kissed me, a peck on my lips, and slipped behind the curtain to his office area.”
It’s tremendously brave, and terrifying, to add that to the public record.
“At the time, I think I may have told one of my sisters,” Chung writes. “I certainly did not tell my parents. I did not report him to authorities. It never crossed my mind to protect other women. Please understand, I was actually embarrassed about my sexual naivete. I was in my 20s and knew nothing about sex. All I wanted to do was bury the incident in my mind and protect my family.”