SARATOGA, Calif. (KTVU) - As Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the family of Audrie Pott of Saratoga said it became too real.
“Obviously we are not connected with the people in the case,” said Audrie Pott’s mother Sheila. “It has a physical effect. I feel the stress and I feel the anxiety.”
Audrie’s parents said they were awestruck by the similarities to Audrie's case from 2012. Both of them were 15 years old. Both assaults happened at a small gathering among high school friends in an upstairs room with the door locked and drinking was involved.
Unlike Ford, Audrie never had the chance to share her story. She took her own life after nude pictures of her from the party were shared by classmates on social media.
“She lost her life and her voice,” said Audrie’s Father Larry Pott. “We had a decision to make whether to make it public or to private. We chose because Audrie was no longer with us that we owed it to her to go public.”
Her parents were not surprised by Ford's trepidation as they relived their own experience. They too were bombarded with media, had to move out of the area and had to speak to lawmakers at the California State Legislature to pass Audrie's law that expanded the definition of rape.
“It’s so difficult to talk about something that has torn your life apart and I can understand her voice trembling,” said Sheila Pott.
They were also not surprised that Ford waited years to speak up. They said back in the 1980s, sex crimes often went unreported and support for victims was lacking.
“This is a time of awakening,” said Sheila Pott. “It's a time when victims and survivors can feel supported.”
They said this historic day offers lessons.
“I hope that all teenagers are watching this case because it shows something you do when you're 17 years old, it can come back and haunt you,” said Audrie’s Stepmother Lisa Pott.
It also offers healing with so many people condemning sexual assault and listening.
“From a survivor's standpoint what she did was very powerful,” said Larry Pott. “When we see somebody like Dr. Ford going public, it's heartwarming and reassuring. We did the right thing.”