Students in support of sexual abuse survivors protest Brett Kavanaugh at Speakers Circle

Sexual assault survivors share stories of abuse to encourage people to believe survivors.
the Planned Parenthood Advocates at Mizzou take part in an abortion-rights rally in Speakers Circle Sept. 25 to protest anti-abortion legislation. Courtesy of Facebook via @PPAdvocatesMIZ

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Mizzou, Stronger Together Against Relationship and Sexual Violence and Mizzou College Democrats held an abortion-rights rally in Speakers Circle Sept. 25 to protest anti-abortion legislation and support survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

“We just wanted to remind survivors that we’re here for them and that we still support them,” said Victoria Touzinsky, president of STARS.

Ael Diehm, vice president of STARS and a survivor of domestic abuse, considered the protest to be a “part two,” to a similar protest held around the same time last year, which primarily targeted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court amidst sexual assault allegations from three separate accusers.

The protestors this year once again targeted Kavanaugh, who had more sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him earlier this month.

“It’s only been a year since these allegations came forward and we’ve all but forgotten,” said Sadie Jess, president of Mizzou College Democrats. “It’s been 11 days since there were new allegations and we’ve all but forgotten … so I think this is a moment where we can stop, reevaluate and remember these allegations and make a promise moving forward that we will continue to acknowledge [them].”

Roughly 20 protestors were present at the rally, which lasted for an hour and a half.

“I feel like we’re always stronger together …You can do so much healing yourself but at the same time, in numbers we’re really powerful, so I want to build those communities where I can,” Diehm said.

During the rally, survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse were encouraged to share their stories with the protestors. These stories attracted some passersby to stop and listen, with one such passerby shouting “I love Trump” during one of the survivors’ stories. Other protestors spoke up to give advice and support to the survivors.

“This [abuse] shouldn’t have happened to them in the first place,” Touzinsky said. “What they are doing, how much it helps other people who may be uncomfortable to share is really special and really important … we’re just really thankful for them.”

Edited by Ben Scott | bscott@themaneater.com

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