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Text of speech by Katherine Prudhomme at Hillary Clinton protest
August 19, 2000

protest sign

Rape survivor, Katherine Prudhomme, gives a heartfelt speech at a Hillary Clinton protest.

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Good afternoon. My name is Katherine Prudhomme. I am a wife, a mother,
the first female graduate of my trade high schools machine shop program
and I am a rape survivor. As such I am wearing a dark green ribbon today
to tell the world "I am a rape survivor and I will not be ashamed!" I
thank all who have chosen to wear light purple ribbons showing that they
believe and support Juanita Broaddrick. Thank you also to the many
generous volunteers who helped make this happen today.

Last December during the New Hampshire primary I asked V.P Al Gore during
a live, televised town hall meeting at WNDS TV studios not far from my
Derry home if he believed Juanita Broaddrick. She is the woman who made
the highly credible claim of rape against a sitting president, William Clinton.

Juanita Broaddrick was a volunteer on the "Clinton for Governor" campaign
when she says she was raped in a Little Rock, Arkansas hotel room.
Broaddrick, a successful nursing home owner with nothing but peace of
mind to gain from telling her story was interviewed by Lisa Myers in
January 1999. The interview aired February 24 of the same year on the
Dateline NBC program.

Most people who saw the interview believed Mrs. Broaddrick. President
Clinton, responding through his lawyer, has said this claim is false.
Haven't we been down this road before with Clinton? And haven't we found
out what his word is worth? His word is worth nothing. To not believe
Mrs. Broaddrick, to think Bill Clinton is not a rapist is to make a liar
out of Mrs. Broaddrick. I won't do that! I thank all of you who came out
here today for saying with me I believe Juanita Broaddrick!

Al Gore told me he did not see the interview and didn't know how to
evaluate all the charges. I wonder what made the Anita Hill case so much
easier for him to evaluate? Gore went on to tell me how he thought the
American people were tired of all these charges and wanted to move on.

That last statement really made me mad. What is he saying to me? That if
I don't "want to move on" then I am not one of the American people? Or is
he telling those who still think that rape is a crime in this country and
believe their president may be a rapist that they are out of touch with
everybody else? Are we out of touch ? I say no! We are in fact in touch!
WE are in touch with truth, we are in touch with justice, we are in touch
with kindness and we are in touch with doing the right thing! And I won't
be manipulated by anyone who may try to tell me otherwise!

Gore has an undeniable record of believing women when they make a serious
charge of sexual mistreatment by powerful Republican men. He stood up for
and defended Anita Hill when she said she was sexually harassed by now
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Why then did he just dismiss
Juanita Broaddrick? One would think such a "caring" person as Gore would
have at least watched the interview Mrs. Broaddrick gave to Lisa Myers.

But he did not. Mrs. Broaddrick is simply to inconvenient for him to
acknowledge. It takes a strong person to stand up for what is right when
it is inconvenient and I learned that day last December that Gore is not
a strong person.

Let's move on to a women who has been at the forefront of the women's and
human rights crusade for decades. Hillary Clinton is someone that rape
survivors such a myself or Mrs. Broaddrick or the brave green ribbon
wearers among us should be able to turn to and depend on. But we cannot.
Hillary Clinton has betrayed us.

She has words thousands of them that say she is on our side, but is
she really? Consider these examples:

In the aftermath of the recent group sexual attacks during New York's
Puerto Rican Day Parade Mrs. Clinton called for increased penalties on
those convicted of group sexual wilding. Of this incident Mrs. Clinton
has said "We all looked on in horror at the videotapes because we know
these women. They are wives, and sisters, and daughters. They are friends
and neighbors. We know that if it could happen there - in broad daylight
it could happen anywhere. This is a crime against all women
everywhere. And so we have to say enough is enough. This violence is
unacceptable and it must stop."

Well, Hillary I feel your pain, because I too have a videotape, a
videotape of Juanita Broaddrick telling her story to Lisa Myers that I
will give you today. It is a videotape that I have looked upon in horror.
And when it told a tale of disgusting violence committed against a woman
in broad daylight... A women who could have been my sister, my daughter
or my mother... I too have to say "enough is enough this violence is
unacceptable and must stop".

Also consider what Mrs. Clinton said to the Inter-American Development
Bank on October 20, 1997, "I am proud that my husband has stood up as
President to confront the violence and to protect American women. While
grassroots organizing by women is vital to each country's tackling the
crisis, it is only when men from the level of men of the barrio to the
level of men of the presidential palaces join hands with us to stand
against violence against women that we will know our societies have truly
been transformed"

President Clinton has stood up to confront violence and protect American
women? Why then has he refused to say anything other than this rape
allegation is not true - and with this man we would be foolish to believe
his words alone we need proof! Why won't he tell the American people
where he was on the date in question - April 25, 1978? At that time Mr.
Clinton was Attorney General of Arkansas. Those records do exist. Why
can't he take a stand on this and tell us where he was that morning? Mrs.
Clinton you have said you talk with your husband about everything. What
have you said to him about this? Because it is only when the men at the
highest levels of our society, such as men of the presidential palaces
join hands with us to stand against women that we will know our societies
have truly been transformed...

That is why I, such a little person from Derry, New Hampshire believe
that I truly have no choice today but to resort to this grassroots
organizing. Grassroots organizing that I know that you, Mrs. Clinton,
deep in your heart would not only approve of but applaud, if only I were
not here to stand up for Juanita Broaddrick. For she is someone so
totally inconvenient for you to believe. But I think you do.

To this last part I gotta say - Girl get a backbone! We are told over
and over that you are a strong woman. Show us some proof. Show us who you
are with your actions not just with your words. Because actions beat
words hands down every time.

Do the right thing Mrs. Clinton. I know that for you it must be the most
difficult thing to do. This occasion demands no lessor action of the good
and the brave. In answering .. or not answering the question, Mrs.
Clinton, you will tell us loud and clear who you are.

Ask your husband if it is true that he committed this violent hate crime,
a felony in all 50 state. Experienced investigators interviewed Mrs.
Broaddrick and believed her. Experts in the field of sex offender
treatment believe her. United Sates congressman Christopher Shays
believes her. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Americans
believe her. Do not dishonor all them with any further silence on this
issue.

Mrs. Clinton, if you don't believe Mrs. Broaddrick, you must tell us why!
If you want the honor of representing in the United States Senate my
beloved mother, my sister and a true heroic feminist if ever there was
one, my young nephew - still learning the lessons of life that children
learn simply by watching how adults like you, Mrs. Clinton and me behave,
now and last but certainly not least - the millions of wonderful New
Yorkers I am honored to be among today.

Mrs. Clinton, don't take us back to the day when women were believed only
when they were perfect or only when they were convenient to believe.

Mrs. Clinton, let me be clear, I ask you a question today not about the
consensual affair that your husband had with Monica Lewinsky. No kind
fair minded person would think to invade the privacy of your marriage in
such a way.

I ask only about the charge made by Juanita Broaddrick, that she was
raped by your husband. I believe Juanita Broaddrick do you? Rape is not
a sin. Rape is not just a mistake. Rape is not just a difficulty in
someone's marriage. Any answer to the question "Do you believe Juanita
Broaddrick?" that uses any of these terms to describe rape is
unacceptable.

I ask you this one question, Mrs. Clinton not to be mean or cruel to you
but to be a good person. I want to be a positive and active member of the
larger village. I want to do right by the children of today who sadly,
may be the rape victims of the future. I am trying to be a wise village
member who hacks away at the roots of the problem of sexual violence
while some may be only grasping at leaves. That means I must talk about
the violent hate crime against women called rape, not just when it is
easy. I must also do it when it is hard.

Mrs. Clinton, I think it is kind to Mrs. Broaddrick that people stand up
and say what so many have been thinking all along ...

I believe Juanita ... Do You?

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