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Notre Dame students walk out over SCOTUS allegations

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A number of students and teachers chose to "wear black and walk out" to support fellow #MeToo survivors in the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

The tweet posted by #MeToo founder Tarana Buke, sparked a national movement across the nation Monday, including on campus at the University of Notre Dame.

Some students and faculty came to stand in solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing a drunken 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were high school students in the 80s. 

“I feel its vitally important as the Notre Dame community to come out to stand in solidarity of victims of sexual assault and reiterate that we believe them. And I believe it will be a terrible thing for our bench to be full of supreme court justices who have substantial allegations held against them of sexual misconduct," said Notre Dame junior Jackie O'Brien. 

Dr. Ford and her family have had to leave their home behind and hire private security to protect themselves against multiple death threats. 

Supporters say her willingness to testify in spite of the headlines and turmoil is a symbol of courage for other victims of sexual assault. 

Jessica Shumake, faculty at Notre Dame says,“The kind of hostility that’s happening where people are receiving death threats and are frightened and terrified to come forward. That that culture of harassment and intimidation and abuse needs to stop.”

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and President Donald Trump and top republicans in Washington are standing behind him hoping to have the confirmation vote as soon as possible.

Shumake also believes the supreme court stands for justice, and possibly having the senate vote before all the facts come out is the wrong move. 

“Someone who holds a lifetime appointment is held accountable and it’s the right thing to do is to investigate these allegations," Shumake said.

To O'Brien, standing in solidarity with women like Ford is only the beginning of helping all survivors of sexual abuse to come forward and heal.

“But moving past any political notion, it’s really important to focus on the survivor and their story and allowing them to have a platform to spread the message," O'Brien said.

Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford are set to appear Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the alleged incident.

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