GLAAD supports #BelieveSurvivors and calls for the Senate to #StopKavanaugh

This Monday at 1pm EST, organizations and individuals nationwide wore black and walked out in support of Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, two women who have bravely come forward and who allege that they have been assaulted by the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. GLAAD continues to be outspoken about Kavanaugh's record of anti-LGBTQ statements and support for anti-LGBTQ organizations. 

GLAAD joined the walk out yesterday alongside participating organizations including Planned Parenthood, a variety of Hollywood writers and actors, the National Center For Transgender Equality, NARAL, the Women’s March, and Yale Law School, Kavanaugh’s alma mater, where students organized a silent sit-in.

The message of #BelieveSurvivors is particularly important: this wasn’t a hashtag inspired by one event, or one allegation, but spurred by advocates and allies witnessing the heavy backlash that survivors face when they make their stories public. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano, who was honored last week at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco, wrote a powerful op-ed on this very subject, emphasizing that survivors of sexual assault might wait years, or even decades to report—and some never do—because of fear of being called a liar, being retaliated against, and being re-traumatized. Though Milano, Blasey Ford and Ramirez are some of the most high-profile women that the hashtag supports, #BelieveSurvivors is meant for all survivors, and these nationwide actions underscore that all survivors of sexual assault should be supported and believed.

Despite the way conversations around sexual assault have been framed in the media, sexual assault is an LGBTQ issue. LGBTQ people are both more likely to experience sexual assault than people who don’t identify as LGBTQ, and more likely to not report their experience. Because of stigma, fear of not being believed, or fear of retaliation, many LGBTQ people don’t report sexual assault. It’s crucial that advocates and allies across all movements come out saying we #BelieveSurvivors—not only in support of Blasey Ford and Ramirez, but in support of all survivors, everywhere.

Last week, GLAAD called for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be delayed, saying that there were just too many unanswered questions about his beliefs, actions, and character. Now, as more news emerges around further allegations of sexual assault—allegations that GLAAD takes very seriously—once again, we call upon the Senate Judiciary Committee to #StopKavanaugh and stop the vote.

We #BelieveSurvivors and we believe we can #StopKavanaugh.