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Expert: Kavanaugh confirmation hearing will inspire others to come forward

Dr. Elizabeth Ruggiero-Wallis said people deal with trauma in different ways, but many suppress it.

Many across the country took to social media with #Whyididnotreport during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.

While many shared their stories, a local expert told KATV she wasn't surprised by the reaction.

"One of the things we're going to see happening is more and more people will come out, so there's the safety in the group, the group mentality...with the #Metoo movement for example, it was safer because other people were saying it happened to them,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ruggiero-Wallis.

Dr. Ruggiero-Wallis said people deal with trauma in different ways, but many suppress it.

As Dr. Christine Ford testified, she was 100 percent certain that it was Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her, but Kavanaugh denied the allegations. Throughout the hearing, some questions focused on why Dr. Ford couldn't remember everything, while others indicated that meant she was truthful.

"Really bad trauma gets suppressed within the body, within the brain, we take it and we store it away so we don't always remember great details of things,” said Dr. Ruggiero-Wallis. “We don't always remember the entire process of the way that things happened and the very very center of our brain is where we store emotions and memories and so we don't always have them ready or on recall."

Dr. Ruggiero-Wallis added that if one has experienced trauma, they should seek counseling from an expert instead of suppressing it.

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