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Pittsburghers Participate In Walkout In Support Of Christine Blasey Ford

Kathleen J. Davis
90.5 WESA
A crowd gathers in front of the City County Building in support of Christine Blasey Ford on Monday, September 24, 2018.

About 100 people gathered in front of the City County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday afternoon in support of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who said Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers. The rally was part of a national walkout organized by women's rights groups including Time's Up and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday as part of Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation process. Kavanaugh has denied assaulting Blasey Ford.

At the Pittsburgh walkout, speakers urged those in power to believe women like Blasey Ford who say they have been assaulted. Attendee Jen Partica brought her infant daughter to the walkout, and said her frustration is not entirely about Kavanaugh.

"It's just, yet again, we're having a conversation where a woman is saying, 'I was sexually assaulted,' and everyone is telling her that they don't believe her," Partica said.

Alison Hall, executive director of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR), said many people don't report their experiences of sexual assault until years later, but that doesn't mean their allegation should be cast aside.

"I'm sure the highest court in the land and those in power can find someone else to take a seat on our highest court who respects women," Hall said. "We as a country deserve that."

Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Pat Toomey hasexpressed support for Kavanaugh, while Democrat Bob Casey said he would oppose any nominee that came from a list provided by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.

Kieran McLean contributed to this report.