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Kavanaugh confirmation inspires Empower Hour, support event for sexual assault survivors

Kaali Roberts

On Tuesday, October 9, the Counselors for Social Justice hosted a candlelight vigil in support of sexual assault survivors.

In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation following sexual assault allegations, Counselors for Social Justice hosted a candlelight vigil in support of sexual assault survivors.

“We invited lots of members throughout the community: different social workers, psychologists, resource centers and as many people as we could reach that could be impacted by this confirmation,” president and national secretary Frannie Neal said.

The vigil brought people together from various backgrounds. The event sought to create a healing and advocacy space for survivors and allies where they could write letters to Christine Blasey Ford, an American professor of psychology and Kavanaugh’s accuser. 

“We’re writing letters to people who can make a difference,” Neal said. 

Caroline Champagne, a student at the university and a participant in the event, recalled her experience with sexual assault. Champagne’s case was swept under the rug by her high-school principal and counselor despite her report to law enforcement. 

“When I met with the ill-qualified person they had acting as a counselor, he spoke as if I wasn’t in the room – in front of my mom – asked, ‘How do you know she is not just making this up?’” Champagne said. 

Continuous dismissal and mistrust have triggered an uproar among many students on campus. Danielle Mayer, first-year counseling graduate student, said she felt extremely disgusted by Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

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“It’s a slap in the face to every survivor – every woman, every man who has ever gone through something like that,” she said. 

Mayer said she hopes that the mid-terms will bring change, urging people to go and vote. 

Kavanaugh has also received backlash for his self-proclaimed “sharp and emotional” comportment during his hearing.

“I think it’s disgusting that we elected him,” Mayer said regarding Kavanaugh’s temperament during being questioned. “50 people kind of changed the course of U.S. history … I hope in mid-terms people can bring that change and go vote.”

Kavanaugh’s confirmation has served as a propellant for those eager to make a change. 

“We can’t make a difference if we stay silent, that’s when the oppression happens,” said counseling graduate student Fatima Al-Osaimi.

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