Christine Blasey Ford speaks out for the first time about the threats she and her family have faced.
GoFundMe

It has been nearly two months since Christine Blasey Ford appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to publicly testify on her claim that she was sexually assaulted by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In today’s political media environment, it feels like a lifetime. Since then, America went through a historic 2018 midterm election and the never ending ups and downs of the daily media cycle. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s nomination, and Ford’s relentless time under the public spotlight, have largely faded from the national conversation.


But Ford is still living with the very real repercussions of her decision to come forward.

In an update to GoFundMe campaign, Ford shared details about what’s happened to the fund dedicated to raising funds to pay for security costs she and her family endured after facing numerous threats.:

“The funds you have sent through GoFundMe have been a godsend. Your donations have allowed us to take reasonable steps to protect ourselves against frightening threats, including physical protection and security for me and my family, and to enhance the security for our home. We used your generous contributions to pay for a security service, which began on September 19 and has recently begun to taper off; a home security system; housing and security costs incurred in Washington DC, and local housing for part of the time we have been displaced. Part of the time we have been able to stay with our security team in a residence generously loaned to us.”

It’s a powerful reminder of how Ford’s life has been changed forever by coming forward.

Ford has continued to show an incredibly measured response to her situation. For example, to anyone who thinks she and her family are “profiting” from the experience, Ford writes:

“With immense gratitude, I am closing this account to further contributions. All funds unused after completion of security expenditures will be donated to organizations that support trauma survivors. I am currently researching organizations where the funds can best be used. We will use this space to let you know when that process is complete.”

At the end of the day, there’s unfortunately no denying that Ford and her supporters did not achieve the ultimate outcome they hoped for, mainly preventing Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. But it’s clear Ford and many others see a measurable amount of progress from her brave actions, which have continued to move the #MeToo conversation forward in our public and private lives:

“Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty. Having done so, I am in awe of the many women and men who have written me to share similar life experiences, and now have bravely shared their experience with friends and family, many for the first time. I send you my heartfelt love and support.”
Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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