Katie Couric: Our understanding of sexual violence has not progressed since Anita Hill hearings

Journalist Katie Couric said Sunday that understanding of sexual violence "has not progressed" since the Anita Hill hearings of 1991.

“Our understanding of sexual violence against women and the trauma — the lifelong trauma — that ensues … has not progressed since I covered the Anita Hill hearings 27 years ago," Couric said during an interview on CNN's "Reliable Sources." 

"There’s not a process in place. I think that’s a huge problem." 


Hill in 1991 accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexually harassing her and testified against him as his nomination was being considered. Thomas was later confirmed to the court by a vote of 52-48.

Last week, Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on her sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ford says that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed during a high school party in the 1980s and tried to remove her clothes.

Kavanaugh vehemently denied assaulting Ford during his own testimony before the committee.

Couric said Sunday on "Reliable Sources" that she thinks Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe GOP lawmaker offers constitutional amendment capping Supreme Court seats at 9 Overnight Energy: Judge halts drilling on Wyoming public lands over climate change | Dems demand details on Interior's offshore drilling plans | Trump mocks wind power MORE (D-Calif.) should have shared Ford's accusations with Senate Republicans sooner. Republicans have criticized Feinstein, the first senator to learn of the allegations, for not disclosing them earlier in the confirmation process.

"I think Dr. Ford’s story and account has been understandably politicized because of that failure," Couric said.

Couric added that she was also troubled by the behavior of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and singled out Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report Graham expects 'thorough' briefing on Mueller report MORE (R-S.C.), who during Thursday's hearings became angry and said the accusations against Kavanaugh are an "unethical sham."

“I think the way that, some of the ways that the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee handled this was very troubling," she said. I thought Lindsey Graham’s full-throated defense of Judge Kavanaugh was disturbing only because it completely dismissed and discounted Dr. Ford’s story and personal experience.”