Activists Made into a Resource for Sexual Assault Victims

Grassroots organization Fix the Court bought, .net, and .org to declare "We believe survivors."

by Marie Solis
Oct 10 2018, 5:13pm

Fix the Court/

Typing, .net, or .org into your search bar won't yield any information about the newly confirmed Supreme Court nominee.

Instead, the URLs direct users to a landing page declaring "We believe survivors" with links to resources for victims of sexual abuse.

"The start of Brett Kavanaugh’s tenure on the Supreme Court may look like a victory for one interest group or another," the site reads. "But, more importantly, it is putting a national focus on the issue of sexual assault—and how we as a country can and should do more to prevent it and to support those who have experienced it."

The group behind the stunt is Fix the Court, a nonpartisan grassroots organization pushing for transparency and reform on the Supreme Court. Its executive director, Gabe Roth said he bought the domain names—along with several others—three years ago because he thought they might prove useful for upcoming Supreme Court battles.

"I believe Dr. Ford," Roth wrote in a Tuesday statement. "I believe Prof. Hill. I also believe that asking for forgiveness is a sign of maturity and strength, not weakness.

"Watching the White House ceremony last night and listening to the President again cast doubt on the veracity of Dr. Ford’s claims, while not hearing a word of contrition from the newest justice, was difficult for many Americans who have experienced sexual misconduct firsthand," he continued, alluding to Kavanaugh's swearing in, during which time President Donald Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family for the "terrible pain" he said they had endured.

"Fix the Court stands with you," Roth said. "We believe you, and we support you."

The page links to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, End Rape on Campus, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, whose sexual assault hotline saw a 147 percent spike in calls during Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford's Senate Judiciary hearings.

RAINN said the uptick in calls to the hotline and requests for their services was similar to the surge its staff saw in October 2016, when survivors tied up RAINN's phone lines on the heels of Trump's Access Hollywood comments or after the allegations emerged against Harvey Weinstein the following October.

Kavanaugh's confirmation means these organizations have their work cut out for them, as they try to best serve survivors at a time when many advocates say our policies and government haven't caught up to the seismic cultural shift produced by the #MeToo movement.

"The way I’ve been describing this year is like a car," Jess Davidson, the executive director of End Rape on Campus, told Broadly earlier this week. "The front wheels are culture. And we are slamming on the gas for culture. We’re hitting it hard. We’re seeing so much culture change. The back wheels are policy, and those wheels of the car are spinning; they’re stuck in mud."