Women gather in front of Sen. Ron Johnson’s office protesting sexual assault

Women gather in front of Sen. Ron Johnson’s office protesting sexual assault

In response to the Kavanaugh hearings, women gathered in front of Sen. Ron Johnson’s office in Madison to protest sexual assault.

A CALL TO ACTION: Madisonians gather in solidarity in light of the #KavanaughHearing to protest against sexual assault. Hear their stories tonight on #News3 pic.twitter.com/mdLyOriIng

— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) September 27, 2018

“We are gathering in solidarity with survivors,” said Mindy Wara Maciolek, a sexual assault survivor. “Many of us here are survivors.”

While they were confident about the actions they took today, they say they hated the reason why they had to do it.

“This is not a path to celebrity and it rarely leads to our abusers being held accountable for their actions,” Wara Maciolek said.

Many shared very personal stories.

“I woke up and the lights were out and he was rubbing his penis against my leg and my pants were off and I felt paralyzed and I felt like I couldn’t move,” said sexual assault survivor Heather Driscoll, as she recalled her experience from years ago. “The only thing I could say was, ‘Please don’t. I’m a virgin.'”

Some speakers also addressed why women don’t always speak out when they first experience sexual assault.

“We might not want to be labeled as a victim, we might not want to make the situation worse, we may want to forget it ever happened,” Wara Maciolek said.

After sharing stories, they signed a letter addressed to Sen. Ron Johnson urging him to vote against Kavanaugh in the upcoming election. They chanted “We believe survivors!” as they marched into his office and handed the letter to one of his staff members. Johnson was not present at the time to receive the letter.

“We are not objects, we are not playthings, we are not the brunt of peoples’ jokes, we are humans and we deserve dignity and respect,” said Driscoll.