Women's Rally West Hartford

A group of people rallied in West Hartford following the Kavanaugh testimony (WFSB)

WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Moments before Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing ended, a group of people rallied on the steps of a West Hartford church on Thursday.

There are concerns about the impact the very public and emotional hearing might have on victims.

Dozens say say that the hearings were counterproductive, especially for those who have yet to come forward.

With decades of important rulings on the line, Thursday’s hearing amounted to one of the biggest.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is accused of sexual assault claims. At least five women have come forward with claims against Kavanaugh.

“I never sexually assaulted anyone,” Kavanaugh said at the testimony on Thursday.

One of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford said, “I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me.”

For more than eight hours, the accused and the accuser testified, and the public watched.

Laura Cordes works with dozens of sexual violence survivors and she says this is a painful time for them.

“They’re having to remember how someone disbelieved them, turned away, didn’t intervene and didn’t protect them from harm,” said Cordes, Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

While many at the rally in West Hartford were praising Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for coming forward with her story, members from more than a dozen advocacy groups are also concerned about how she was grilled and the impact it has on the victims of sexual assault.

“Offenders themselves are being emboldened, they’re looking and saying, ‘you know what, there are no consequences for sexual harming,” said Cordes.

The majority of women and men at the rally firmly stand behind Ford, but Kavanaugh still firmly denies accusations of any misconduct.

We asked how these groups balance both accounts.

“We believe survivors, we believe in investigating sexual assault crimes and that’s not happening here,” said Cordes.

“If the Senate move forward with this, they’re sending a clear message with this to sexual assault survivors everywhere that they don’t matter,” said Gretchen Raffa, Planned Parenthood.

The rally will end Thursday with everybody calling legislators in several states.

Digital Content Producer

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