WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 27, 2018) –Kyla Wright, Hampton University senior and journalism major, participated in and spoke at a Survivors Rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Monday, September 24, 2018. The rally was part of a national walkout to support Dr. Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, two women who have raised sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Coincidentally, Wright was already in D.C. for a Next Generation Leadership Initiative Fellowship program, when she received a message to participate in the rally from Kendall Sax-Stevens, the Associate Director of Operations for End Rape on Campus. End Rape on Campus is a national organization that seeks to end campus sexual violence through direct support for survivors and their communities; prevention through education; and policy reform at the campus, local, state, and federal levels.
Sax-Stevens came across some of Wright’s previous work advocating for sexual assault victims and reached out to enquire if Wright would speak at the rally and tell her story. Wright is a survivor of sexual assault. “I’ve been doing sexual assault advocacy since my sophomore year here and Kendall contacted me and told me that she had read some of my blogs and wanted to see if I could come to D.C. to speak at the march. She asked me to prepare a speech and talk about sexual assault and my experience, and so I went, we did the march from the Hart Senate Office Building to the steps of the Supreme Court, which was where the press conference and the rally took place,” Wright said.
The Women’s March, which is a movement that provides education on a diverse range of issues, organized this rally for survivors of sexual assault, women and allies to come together in solidarity to support the two women who came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. “Women should never feel like they’re being taken hostage by their own government, and no one should ever be elevated to a position of power if they are an abuser and if they do not believe women,” said Bob Bland, one of the Co-Presidents and National Co-Chairs of the Women’s March.
Wright prepared a speech and spoke in front of thousands of individuals who attended the rally. Here is a portion of Wright’s speech on the steps of the Supreme Court:
“When you look at me you would never assume that I was broken, someone who had something taken from her that she didn’t give. Someone who became part of the statistic that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in their lives. I was violated. Not only by someone who didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘no,’ but also by the systems that structurally harm survivors of sexual assault, a system that the Supreme Court is a part of…It took me four, almost five months to report my assault because when we talk about well-known figures on a college campus, the fear of reporting comes with public doubt along with being ostracized and criticized. I reported, yet nothing was done. The following year I watched him walk across the stage in his cap and gown preparing to take life head on. The pain of seeing his constant successes while knowing the true monster he was and is, is unexplainable. If Brett Kavanaugh is elected to the highest court of the land, Ms. Ramirez and Dr. Ford will feel the same pain as I and there is nothing that I want more than for them to never experience that feeling.”
To watch Kyla Wright’s entire speech, click here: https://www.facebook.com/womensmarchonwash/videos/284140022309772/