BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne Police investigating boy's death Full Story

What's next for #MeToo after Kavanaugh's confirmation

For many, the fight against Brett Kavanaugh's ...

Posted: Oct 15, 2018 11:25 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 11:25 AM

For many, the fight against Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation was about more than a seat on the Supreme Court. It was a test of how far the conversation about sexual violence has come in the year since survivors began raising their voices.

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations. But supporters of #MeToo say the Senate's vote to confirm Kavanaugh showed just how little the institutions of the American government have been touched by the cultural shift taking place in other realms of society.

Brett Kavanaugh

Christine Blasey Ford

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Misc people

Political Figures - US

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Sexual misconduct

Society

Activism

Demographic groups

Discrimination

Females (demographic group)

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Politics

Population and demographics

Protests and demonstrations

Sexual harassment

Societal issues

US Congress

US federal court system

US federal government

US Senate

US Supreme Court

Sex and gender issues

Sex discrimination

Feminism

Gender equality

Women's March

Donald Trump

*MeToo movement

Business, economy and trade

Economic migration

Foreign labor

Globalization

Human resources and personnel management

Labor and employment

Private household employment

Time's Up movement

Trade and development

Workers and professionals

Workplace behavior

Education

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Midterm elections

Now, activists and survivors say they intend to channel their anger over his confirmation into political and legislative action for the midterms and beyond.

"There are things that have become evident in the course of this process, including that senators have completely abandoned their responsibility to the people, to hear the voices of their constituents," said Women's March Chief Operating Officer Rachel Carmona.

"As a result, we will be taking our power to the polls in November and voting them right out."

The first target of their political activism is the midterms, followed by the 2019 Women's March. Then, all eyes will be on the 2020 general election.

Activists and civil rights groups say they will continue working to strengthen laws and policies related to workplace harassment and prosecution of sex crimes, two key issues to arise from misconduct allegations against high profile figures in the past year. Groups focused on sexual violence prevention say they plan to continue advocating for more treatment resources and education.

Activists say the fight includes identifying candidates that support those aims.

"We're in the middle of one of the most vibrant reckonings around sexual harassment and violence in more than a generation, and institutions have been struggling to catch up," said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women's Law Center.

"We now understand that survivors can come forward, we've created spaces for that to happen, and now the job of institutions is to make sure they're not covering for abuse."

#MeToo becomes #IBelieveHer

Terri Poore, policy director for the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, says her organization and its affiliates have seen demand for their services -- and donations -- increase since #MeToo began. Crisis hotlines also saw an uptick during the Kavanaugh hearings.

Given the hard line some companies have taken in response to allegations of sexual violence against high-profile men in their ranks, Poore was hopeful that those in the top levels of government would send a similarly strong message.

After initially calling Christine Blasey Ford a "good witness," President Trump "openly mocked a survivor" and cast suspicion on her account, Poore said. Later, during an event marking Kavanaugh's confirmation, the President apologized to Kavanaugh for "the terrible pain and suffering" he and his family went through in the hearings.

But the President was far from the only person to question Ford's credibility due to gaps in her memory and her delay in reporting.

Assumptions about what survivors should remember or how they should behave contribute to fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of sex crimes and their impact on survivors, Poore said.

Research shows that memory gaps are common in traumatic events and that there are numerous well-founded reasons why people don't report. The recognition of the impact of trauma on memory has led law enforcement agencies to revise techniques for interviewing sexual assault survivors.

Poore said that advocacy groups such as hers will continue working to educate the public on so-called "rape myths," consent, and how to be active bystanders. The fight includes legislative advocacy to increase more funding through the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, she said.

Support groups will keep pushing the message that they believe survivors, and that counseling and support groups are available for them. Ideally, she said, such conversations would start in schools or come through in views expressed by the country's leaders.

"We want leaders at the top levels of power to be sending the kinds of messages about ending sexual violence that we know inspire change, and that's not happening," she said.

It's all about the midterms

Kavanaugh's confirmation gives the court a conservative majority that is likely to shape case law for the next generation. Progressive activists are worried about the implications for health care, reproductive rights, criminal justice policies and voting access, among other issues.

"What we stand to lose at this point is the rolling back of much of the progress that people have died and struggled to achieve," said Tamika Mallory, national co-chair for the Women's March.

While protesters were gathering in Washington to protest Kavanaugh's confirmation, organizers from numerous groups were training volunteers and activists for future actions, Mallory said. They were registering voters and canvassing for black gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia, she said -- and they will continue to do so up until the midterms.

Mallory said another focus is raising awareness around ballot initiatives, such as one in Florida to restore voting rights to felons who meet certain criteria. Such efforts are part of larger initiatives by numerous racial justice groups to increase voter participation among people of color, she said.

"People should be as frustrated and as angry as they want to be," Mallory said. "They should be visibly in the streets, but that they must take that anger and frustration to the polls, and they cannot go to the polls alone. They must make sure they take their families and communities with them."

The women's movement gets more inclusive

After the midterms, Mallory said that training and preparations will continue for actions in states across the country, including the third annual Women's March. Then, the focus will shift to engaging more women and people of color in the 2020 elections, she said, as voters and candidates.

She The People is a group that focuses on engaging women of color as candidates and members of an overlooked voting bloc.

"The country will not be saved by white women, it will be a multiracial force that will be led by women of color," said Aimee Allison, Democracy in Color President and She the People Founder.

"Our message is, we have to double down on our vision of expanding democracy. If we continue to exercise our rights as members of society, the arc of justice will bend our way."

Feminist writer and activist Soraya Chemaly focuses on the role of gender in politics and pop culture. Her latest book, "Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger," focuses on how women can use changing narratives around female anger to their benefit.

She said she has noticed more white women getting involved in issues that women of color have been focusing on for years -- including #MeToo, which activist Tarana Burke started more than a decade ago. And these white women are angry, she said, which can be a useful tool for social justice. Not the "blind rage" that provokes violent acts or the denigration of other people, she said, but the kind that moves people to take up a cause they believe in.

"What we've seen in the last two years is a gradual awakening," she said. "We're not even close to the arc."

The definition of workplace expands

Graves said the National Women's Law Center will continue to fight in court for those who experience harassment and assault in the workplace and schools. And they will support efforts to fight statutes of limitations in rape cases, she said.

"Where the courts fail us, we will be seeking to put new laws and policies on books at the state and federal level, and we will be doing it with an extremely energized base behind us," Graves said.

Already in the past year, according to a new NWLC report, eleven states and two localities have passed laws to strengthen protections against workplace harassment. Four jurisdictions expanded those protections to include independent contractors, interns or graduate students.

Five states enacted legislation that prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements as a condition of employment, the report said, a mechanism perceived to silence victims and enable employers to hide harassment.

Poore said her group will continue advocating for laws that encourage survivors to report -- including the Congressional Accountability Act, which would overhaul how complaints are handled on Capitol Hill.

More work needs to be done to strengthen protections for people in blue collar jobs, Jess Morales Rocketto of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Her organization represents domestic workers, most of whom are women of color who are vulnerable to workplace sexual harassment and violence.

Rocketto said that, despite the threat to their cause that the Kavanaugh confirmation presents, she sees hope in the past year's progress.

As #MeToo gained momentum and continued through the nomination process, survivors found their voices by sharing their stories, she said. And they're getting in lawmakers' faces, she said, pointing to the case of two women who confronted Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator and her own experience sharing her story with Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"It's not just about a Supreme Court nomination, it's about women coming out and realizing their power and using their anger as a political force."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34830

Reported Deaths: 2143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9900581
Lake3639190
Allen166269
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph128634
Hendricks117171
Hamilton116293
Johnson1115109
Madison59359
Porter54328
Bartholomew51535
Clark50541
LaPorte43824
Howard41528
Tippecanoe4143
Jackson3921
Delaware38539
Shelby37322
Hancock34027
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Vanderburgh2822
Morgan28024
Montgomery24517
Noble23721
White2378
Clinton2331
Decatur22431
Grant21323
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18411
Greene16925
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Warrick16628
Monroe16612
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1501
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Jennings1304
Orange13022
Scott1203
Marshall1112
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Carroll932
Daviess9216
Wayne855
LaGrange842
Steuben842
Wabash792
Fayette787
Newton7810
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington521
Clay511
Fulton491
Randolph483
Rush472
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Perry330
Brown331
Wells320
Benton310
Huntington282
Knox280
Blackford262
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Adams171
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35984

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5933271
Cuyahoga4508241
Hamilton2698151
Marion266828
Lucas2277248
Pickaway208637
Summit1453176
Mahoning1438178
Butler90931
Columbiana87552
Stark73692
Lorain69259
Montgomery68416
Trumbull58250
Belmont43513
Warren37821
Miami35830
Tuscarawas3493
Medina34624
Ashtabula34035
Delaware33713
Portage32757
Lake30913
Clark2956
Wood29547
Geauga28632
Fairfield2806
Wayne27750
Licking24910
Mercer2167
Clermont2135
Allen21233
Richland2013
Erie17514
Darke17422
Madison1557
Washington11819
Crawford1154
Morrow1071
Ottawa10316
Greene1035
Putnam9314
Sandusky8111
Monroe7914
Ross722
Auglaize723
Hocking695
Jefferson672
Hardin610
Huron601
Williams551
Muskingum520
Union521
Hancock501
Fulton440
Clinton431
Shelby433
Holmes431
Wyandot422
Coshocton400
Fayette400
Logan390
Preble391
Guernsey361
Defiance342
Carroll313
Lawrence300
Brown291
Champaign281
Highland251
Knox251
Vinton212
Seneca202
Ashland200
Scioto180
Perry181
Athens181
Henry160
Jackson140
Paulding140
Adams101
Harrison100
Gallia81
Pike80
Meigs60
Noble60
Van Wert60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Few Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Huntington
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Van Wert
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Heat Cranks Up Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events