Senator Heidi Heitkamp is apologizing today after a newspaper campaign ad used the names of 127 women, saying all of them were survivors of sexual assault.
Some of the women listed say they are not survivors of sexual assault.
Others say they are but did not give the campaign permission to use their names.
This is the ad that ran in newspapers Sunday.
It’s an open letter criticizing Heitkamp’s opponent for Senate, Kevin Cramer, for his recent comments criticizing the #MeToo movement.
Heitkamp appeared on a radio talk show, taking responsibility for her campaign’s mistake.
She admits the names on the ad were used without permission.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says “the worst thing you can do is take away their privacy. If these women who were listed in fact were victims,I did exactly that. I need to personally apologize.”
Eve Lancaster also appeared on the show.
She was one of the women to find her name on a list, she says she never signed up for.
Eve Lancaster had her name on that list, she says “This is serious. I don’t know if she realizes the impact this has put on some people, if they have been sexually assaulted or not.”
Heitkamp says she didn’t personally approve the ad, and she’s not entirely sure where they got the names listed.
She says she’s working on an internal investigation to find out how the mistake was made.
North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and her campaign are apologizing this morning after a weekend newspaper ad was discovered to contain false information.
Heitkamp’s ad contained an open letter to Kevin Cramer about comments the Congressman has made recently about sexual assault.
In a statement from the Senator this morning she says it has been discovered that some of the name of survivors of abuse listed in the letter were not done with authorization and some were not even survivors of abuse.
“Sexual assault is a serious crime – and one that too many North Dakota women have experienced. In an attempt to bring awareness to this issue and push back against dismissive comments toward sexual assault survivors by Kevin Cramer, our campaign worked with victim advocates to identify women who would be willing sign the letter or share their story. We recently discovered that several of the women’s names who were provided to us did not authorize their names to be shared or were not survivors of abuse. I deeply regret this mistake and we are in the process of issuing a retraction, personally apologizing to each of the people impacted by this and taking the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.”