PA advocates say Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation may have an impact on abuse victims

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Victim advocates in Central Pennsylvania are speaking out after Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as Supreme Court Justice. This comes after allegations of sexual assault from doctor Christine Ford, who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

Now that he has been voted in as Supreme Court Justice, experts in our area say the vote will have an impact on victims.

"It has demonstrated that it's not safe to come forward and that there's nothing to be gained by coming forward," said Kristen Houser, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

Victim advocate, Kristen Houser with `Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape` says the vote has brought out a mix of emotions.

"This was a very emotional day for victims of sexual assault, people who are very upset who are reliving their own experiences, who feel invalidated all over again," added Houser.

While the FBI did not find any evidence to support Dr. Christine Ford's allegations, Houser says the vote is another way of ignoring victims who have no other way of being heard.

"The raw outrage that you could hear from the protesters during the vote is sort of vocalizing what a whole lot of people who have had experiences of rape and attempted rape," said Houser.

In a Facebook post, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) said he voted 'yes,' confirming Kavanaugh adding in part quote  -- "The worst possible claims about a nominee are considered disqualifying by some, despite the absence of any corroborating evidence. We need to take seriously allegations of sexual assault, while at the same time providing due process to those who are accused of misconduct."

However, not all state leaders feel the same.

In a statement, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), said in part quote -- “’I have heard from sexual assault survivors all across the Commonwealth about what this appointment means to them so I assure the women across Pennsylvania, I hear you. Although we weren’t able to stop this appointment, we as American citizens will have another chance for our voices to be heard in November.”

“This nomination will be adding fuel to the #MeToo movement, to women who are saying our safety and well being matters, this is a national priority and at the same time there are going to be people thinking I will never speak of what happened to me," added Houser.