- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A lesbian who survived child sexual abuse warned a Senate panel Wednesday that confirming the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general would threaten the safety and well-being of rape victims and the LGBT community.

“As a bisexual woman with a transgender romantic partner, and as an advocate working to support sexual assault survivors in the LGBT community, the prospect of Senator Sessions as attorney general is personally and professionally alarming,” said Amita Swadhin, a survivor activist for LGBT victims of sexual abuse.

Ms. Swadhin, who recounted how she was raped by her father as a child, was called to testify by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee on the second day of hearings on Mr. Sessions’ nomination.

Her testimony sharpened the point of the attacks on Mr. Sessions, a former U.S. attorney and Alabama attorney general who Democrats have labeled a racist, sexist, anti-Muslim bigot and homophobe.

Ms. Swadhin said that Mr. Sessions should be disqualified from becoming attorney general because of his dismissive comment about the 2005 hot-mic recording of President-elect Donald Trump saying his celebrity allowed him to kiss and grope women — as should Mr. Sessions’ votes against the Violence Against Women Act.

“We need a justice department that can be a partner to families and communities. Our attorney general must be able to demonstrate leadership to victims of violent crime that helps us feel we can trust the state, the courts, and victim service agencies more than we fear our perpetrators,” she said. “For most survivors of violent crime, this means trusting the state more than you fear the family member, friend or community member who you trusted and who raped or abused you.”

Mr. Sessions told the committee Tuesday that, contrary to his initial reaction to the 2005 tape, he considered forcible kissing and touching to be assault. He also testified that as attorney general he would enforce all federal laws, regardless of his vote as a senator.

Despite Mr. Sessions being the chief target to undermine Mr. Trump’s agenda, he is expected to win confirmation in the Republican-run Senate.

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