Today at 1:00PM, thousands supporters of the #MeToo movement across the country will wear black and walk out of their homes, workplaces and classrooms in solidarity with the women who have accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
Two weeks ago, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward, revealing her identity as the author of a previously anonymous letter in which she accuses the Supreme Court nominee of attempted rape while he was in high school. Her allegations are corroborated by her therapist's notes, polygraph evidence, and friends' accounts.
Yesterday, a second accuser came forward with a new set of accusations. Deborah Ramirez who attended Yale University with Kavanaugh, told the New Yorker that when they were freshman, Kavanaugh unconsensually exposed himself to her at a party, forcing her to touch his genitals while other men egged him on.
The #BelieveSurvivors National Walkout has been planned by a number of women's organizations including NARAL, TimesUp, Planned Parenthood Action Group, YWCA and the Women's March. Organizations across the country will take part, and in Washington D.C. a coalition will meet in the Senate Hall atrium at 12:30 and walk to the Supreme Court for a National speak-out.
The walk-out will begin at 1:00PM EST and continue until 2:00PM EST. Organizers are encouraging participants to wear black.
Those unable to walkout, are encouraged to post a photo or video to the national event's Facebook page. And those participating physically or virtually can use the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors.
Fifteen thousand people have RSVP'd to the Facebook event, while 23 thousand more are "Interested."
The page states: "Help spread the word: we believe Dr. Blasey Ford. We believe Deborah Ramirez. We believe survivors. And we won't stand for Senate Republicans' despicable attempts to strong-arm a sexual assault survivor."
Kavanaugh has categorically denied both accounts while The Trump administration and Republican leaders are casting doubt on the accusations, calling the claims "a smear campaign," and insisting Ford is mistaken. Even more disturbing than attempts to disprove Blasey Ford and Ramirez's allegations, are a number of Republican leaders' claims that, even if their accusations are true, they make Kavanaugh an unsuitable candidate for the Supreme Court.
Donald Trump claimed that Blasey Ford's story couldn't possibly be true, because she had taken so long to report, launching the trending Twitter hashtag #WhyIDidn'tReport, linking women's accounts of the many reasons why they were discouraged or terrified of reporting their sexual assaults.
Celebrities like Tracee Elis Ross, Chelsea Handler, Samantha Bee and Alyssa Milano, who penned an essay for Vox this weekend on her own story of why she didn't report, will all be participating.
The gaslighting, harassment and undermining of their credibility that Blasey Ford and Ramirez are currently facing represent the vast majority of women's experiences when they talk about sexual assault.
Moving forward with Kavanaugh's nomination without serious concern and investigation of the accusations against him legitimizes and exonerates sexual violence at a scale and level visibility that could have rippling effects — and potentially places a sexual abuser in a position to make pivotal decisions about women's bodies and assault survivors' rights.
Today's walk-out represents a crucial opportunity to sway Congress towards delaying Kavanaugh's confirmation (many Senators are calling for him to step down) until the allegations can be fully investigated, and the White House towards rescinding his nomination. Show up if you #BelieveSurvivors.
Photo via Getty