Opinion

Sexual Assault Survivors Need to be Heard

Meghan Brooks   Staff Writer

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into the Supreme Court on Oct. 6, 2018 despite sexual assault allegations made towards him. Throughout the Kavanaugh case, sexual assault survivors have been fighting to protect themselves and others from society and triggering instances. The hearings over the past month have been hard on everyone, but primarily sexual assault survivors. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) tweeted on Thursday that it was “experiencing unprecedented wait times” for its online support chat. RAINN suggested those in need call its hotline, 800-656-4673, or call 911 if they are in immediate danger.

There is an underlying issue when it comes to listening to the countless stories of survivors and Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. It’s the flashbacks of their own experiences. “Survivors may deal with increased anxiety, PTSD symptoms, increased drinking and drug use and more, due to the hearing,” states Maricopa Integrated Health System attending psychiatrist Dr. Esad Boskailo. For a long time, sexual assault survivors have had a hard time fighting to be heard through the #MeToo movement, and now fighting rape culture in the American government. The #MeToo movement is a phenomenon founded in 2006 to support sexual assault survivors cope with what they’ve been through. They’re a voice for those who aren’t comfortable coming forward and using theirs. With protests, rallies, marches and speaking out, survivors have opened a fight that won’t be stopped for a long time.

“In the end, Kavanaugh may have political power, but he doesn’t have people power.”

Jess Davidson, a survivor and executive director of the advocacy organization End Rape on Campus, said, “We are going to fight until the end because we believe we can have an impact on this process and we believe that it’s critical that senators understand the trauma and impact of sexual assault.”

When it comes to loved ones of survivors during these trying times, many people ask “how can we help, what can we do?” Well, there are many ways that loved ones can help through being supportive, and practicing active listening. An important first step in helping your friends and family is supporting them through. There are places to get deeper help, however. Some examples are: the national hotline with the number stated earlier, Glendale family advocacy center, flagstaff, and more.

In the end, Kavanaugh may have political power, but he doesn’t have people power. With support, help and standing up against sexual violence, we can all help those who have been victimized.

Campus Lantern
The Campus Lantern is the school newspaper at Eastern Connecticut State University. The Lantern is run by students, for students and reports on everything hppening around campus. We publish every other week. The Lantern has been in publication since 1945.
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