They were called liars. Their characters were attacked. They were accused of speaking out for personal gain, as though one ever gains from going public with allegations of sexual misconduct. Their personal lives were scrutinized. Their political leanings became a matter of national debate. Moore’s campaign in Alabama even created a “primer” on how to discredit them.
And they had to listen as President Donald Trump, himself accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen women, sided with Moore, choosing to believe one man over nine women. The president even went out of his way to mock one of them personally during a rally.
“He says it didn’t happen,” Trump told reporters in November. “You have to listen to him, also.”
In a surprising upset on Tuesday night, Moore was defeated. Voters instead chose Doug Jones, making him the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate seat in the state in 25 years. His victory was propelled, in part, by women: They backed Jones over Moore by 17 percentage points in exit poll results. Mothers with children under 18 at home split even more heavily for Jones, preferring him to Moore by 34 points, according to exit polling.
Coming forward was an act of incredible bravery. The women had, after all, seen what happened to those who dared to accuse Trump of sexual assault. Those women also had their personal lives turned upside down and examined inside and out.
So to the women: Thank you. Thank you for having the courage to come forward.
Thank you, Leigh Corfman.
Thank you, Wendy Miller.
Thank you, Debbie Wesson Gibson.
Thank you, Gloria Thacker Deason.
Thank you, Gena Richardson.
Thank you, Becky Gray.
Thank you, Beverly Young Nelson.
Thank you, Tina Johnson.
Thank you, Kelly Harrison Thorp.
Thank you for breaking your silence. The voters heard you.