‘Blame the system, not the victim’: UW students march in protest of Kavanaugh nomination

Kavanaugh trial reflective of society's overall treatment of sexual assault survivors, speaker says

· Sep 29, 2018 Tweet

Members of ISO protesting Supreme court candidate, abortion and rape culture.
Mary Magnuson/The Badger Herald

Members of the International Socialist Organization gathered at Library Mall Saturday to protest Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination in light of recent sexual assault allegations.

Protestors shared their stories of sexual assault while chanting “we believe Christine Ford, we believe Anita Hill” and “blame the system, not the victim.”

They marched from Library Mall, up Langdon Street and back down State Street.

ISO organizer Dayna Long spoke about what the protest meant not only for those participating, but also for sexual assault survivors all across campus.

“This is a community for survivors, it’s not a community for abusers, it’s not a community for rapists,” Long said. “Regardless of what happens with Brett Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court, we won’t suffer abusers in our community, they’re not going to operate with impunity here.”

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The importance of the march, Long said, was to rectify the strength of women’s anger toward President Donald Trump. If communities organize, that same strength could “take Brett Kavanaugh down.”

University of Wisconsin alumni and ISO organizer Kim Gasper-Rabuck also spoke at the protest. Observers and organizers cried as she recounted her multiple accounts of sexual assault — some of which happened during her time at UW.

One in four women will experience sexual assault during their undergraduate career at UW.

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“I feel more than disrespected,” Gasper-Rabuck said. “I feel like I’ve been erased.”

One protester, who wished to remain anonymous, recounted her own assault at age fourteen.

She came to the march because sexual literacy isn’t “up to standard.” She said she didn’t even realize her assault was sexual violence until she talked to someone about it.

Another protester, who also wished to remain anonymous, said the Kavanaugh hearing Thursday reflected the overall treatment of sexual assault survivors in society.

“I think that Kavanaugh being put onto the Supreme Court is a complete injustice, and really communicates what we think of survivors and perpetrators,” the protest said. “How we could completely ignore that, or in some ways encourage it in our culture, is appalling.”


This article was published Sep 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm and last updated Sep 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm


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