As ongoing controversy surrounds Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged involvement in sexual abuse, women nationwide are participating in a walkout protest dubbed #BelieveSurvivors, Elle reports. One notable participant in the cause is Julianne Hough, who shared an Instagram photo Monday implying her participation. In the black-and-white photo, Hough casually poses in a simple black T-shirt, without makeup, while holding a sign that says #BelieveSurvivors. With glasses resting atop her messy ponytailed head, Hough displays a confident, challenging expression. Her photo was simply captioned “#BelieveSurvivors.”
So what is this #BelieveSurvivors thing all about? Apparently, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez sparked the movement when they recently came forth with sexual assault accusations against Kavanaugh. Blasey Ford’s claims were met with criticism from President Trump, among many others, who stated that she should have “spoken up earlier.” The movement aims to support survivors of sexual assault by spreading the word that their claims should be taken seriously. The campaign also calls for Senators to vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, says Elle. The event began Monday at 1 p.m. EST and was based in Washington D.C., where protesters gathered at the Hart Senate Office Building before moving on to the Supreme Court.
The event is taking place virtually, too. Elle says that those who wanted to participate in the protest should wear black and upload posts to social media accounts including the phrase #BelieveSurvivors. Apparently, Hough is in on the efforts, as her latest picture shows. Responses to the Bigger star’s photo were a mixture of support and displeasure.
“Good job Jules,” said one Instagram user.
“Guilty until proven innocent,” said another.
“Jules, stick to being a dancer,” penned another.
“Thanks for standing up survivors,” opined a fourth.
The entire hallway is in tears. We are at a moment in history where women have to repeat their trauma to the masses to literally beg Senators to vote with moral clarity. #StopKavanaugh #BelieveSurvivors #BeAHero pic.twitter.com/Ky26a9fPTf— Helen Brosnan (@HelenBrosnan) September 24, 2018
After Hough’s interview with Cosmopolitan in 2013, it makes sense that she would stand up for such a cause. Apparently, Hough suffered much physical and emotional abuse when she was training to be a dancer in London as a 10-year-old. While she declined to name the abusers or any details of what happened, the dancer also said that she was overly sexualized as a child dancer.
“I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer… I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love,” Hough told Cosmopolitan.
However, her views in the interview seem to collide with those of the movement she is supporting today, as her final words stated.
“I’m a very forgiving person, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. What’s past is past.”