Charlotte Talks: How We Talk About Sexual Assault And Who To Believe

Oct 16, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Demonstration in Columbus, Ohio protesting Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Credit Flickr/Becker1999

We explore questions surrounding allegations of sexual assault. Whom do we believe? Should there be a default setting? How do we get beyond "he said/she said?" How do we raise children in this new environment?

A year after the Me Too movement was catapulted into the public consciousness with the New York Times expose of Harvey Weinstein, we've experienced another turning point cultural moment - this time it was accusations against a nominee for the Supreme Court.

As is often the case with allegations of sexual misconduct, the national conversation over the Brett Kavanaugh/ Christine Blasey Ford hearings devolved into a debate over 'he said/she said' and who to believe. The dramatic testimony and confirmation process has prompted many questions, again driving a national dialog about sexual assault and harassment.

How do we evaluate allegations of misconduct as a society? How do we choose who and what to believe? Why don't victims report assault? How do we raise our boys to be respectful of women? How do we raise our girls to speak up for themselves and call out bad behavior? How do we ensure due process for the accused while acknowledging the allegations made by the accuser? We join the national conversation and try to answer some of those questions and more.


Crystal Emerick, Founder and Executive Director of Brave Step, a nonprofit that supports people impacted by sexual abuse. She is also a survivor of sexual assault.

Kelly Finley, Senior Lecturer in Women's & Gender Studies at UNC Charlotte. Founder and Executive Director of Girls Rock Charlotte.

John Gresham, Attorney, Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC

Michael Yonkovig, Licensed psychologist in private practice specializing in the treatment of complex trauma problems