The Brett Kavanaugh allegations and #WhyIDidntReport movement are hitting close to home for a Lafayette attorney and former federal judge running for congress.
“He was a very clean-cut, preppy guy. We went out on a date, we went back to my apartment, my roommate wasn’t there. All of a sudden, this guy is attacking me and very forcefully, very violently, clearly trying to rape me,” said Mimi Methvin.
That was in 1973, Methvin’s first year of law school at Tulane University.
She said she was able to fight him off, who was another law student at the university.
“I ran to my roommate’s room, there wasn’t a lock and I remember feeling so panicked. I slipped a piece of furniture in front of the door and used my entire body weight and he spent several minutes slamming his body into the door trying to break it down,” she recounted.
But the experience has always stuck with her.
“A week or two later, [I remember] riding my bike across campus and seeing him riding his bike. He was wearing a white oxford button-down shirt and he just didn’t seem to have a care in the world. And I just thought, how unfair, you know, he could do something that, I think, was very shocking to another human being and could just go on your merry way,” she said.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, out of 1,000 sexual assaults, 690 go unreported to police.
Methvin’s case is one of them.
“I do not remember one time considering reporting the attack because there was not another witness there. I knew inherently that it would be my word against his and I was going to lose that fight,” said Methvin, who has more than 30 years of experience in the justice system as an attorney and judge.
Over the years, Methvin says the unequal treatment hasn’t stopped.
“The conversation is always ‘why are you bringing this great man down?’ Instead of ‘this is wrong and we don’t want anyone to be a victim and not have a voice,'” she said. “This is one of the worst aspects of it. That this is accepted, that men can do this with impunity and still hold onto their reputations.”
She hopes her story and that of other women will encourage other sexual assault survivors to speak up and spark change.
“Whether it will bring lasting change, I think it will. I do. I think we’re in a historic moment and that’s why many women feel empowered to speak out because many other women are,” she said.
Two out of three sexual assaults go unreported to police. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, you can call the national hotline at 800-656-HOPE.