Photo: J. Scott Applewhite (AP)

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s written testimony detailing her alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the early 1980s has been released ahead of a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

“I am not here because I want to be. I am terrified,” Ford says in her written testimony. “I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”

In her testimony, Ford says that the evening in question was a “small gathering” that was “almost surely a spur of the moment gathering.” Ford claims that Kavanaugh groped her “and tried to take off my clothes...I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.” (Emphasis hers.)

Ford says in her written testimony that she hadn’t discussed the assault with anyone until 2012, during a couples therapy session, and that she felt compelled to come forward three days before Kavanaugh was named as the nominee. At the end of her letter, Ford stresses her reasons for coming forward:

Apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have had to relive my trauma in front of the entire world, and have seen my life picked apart by people on television, in the media, and in this body who have never met me or spoken with me. I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. Those who say that do not know me. I am a fiercely independent person and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take that into serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed. It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell the truth.

I understand that the Majority has hired a professional prosecutor to ask me some questions, and I am committed to doing my very best to answer them. At the same time, because the Committee Members will be judging my credibility, I hope to be able to engage directly with each of you.

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Kavanaugh has also released his written testimony ahead of Thursday’s hearing. “What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior,” Kavanaugh wrote. “I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.”

Since Ford came forward, Deborah Ramirez went public with allegations that Kavanaugh had assaulted her while the two were classmates at Yale, and on Wednesday, Julie Swetnick alleged that Kavanaugh was “present” when she was gang raped at a party in 1982. It’s so far unclear whether either will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You can read Ford’s full written testimony below: