Many western Massachusetts residents are speaking out as the Kavanaugh hearings unfold.

Thursday, with many glued to their televisions, advocates against sex assault are coming together with a clear message.

Students at Smith College gathered together to watch the Kavanaugh hearings. They said that there is a deeper meaning behind why they are paying close attention to what Dr. Blasey Ford said today and that they said listening to victims is an important step in making change.

Disturbing allegations examined by a Senate Judiciary Committee played out on national television...

"I believe that we should take these accusations seriously. I feel like it’s our responsibility as a country to hold men like Kavanaugh accountable for their actions," said Hazel Atwill.

The world watched as lawmakers asked questions to analyze sex assault claims against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Students at Smith College got together to watch the testimony.

"If people are brave enough to come forward with their statements, than they deserve to be heard," Atwill added.

Students Western Mass News spoke with said that we are making strides as a culture, but there is still work to do.

"In the 90s or the early 2000s, to talk about sexual harassment and sexual assault wasn’t a thing and now, we have the 'Me Too' movement. We have all these movements, so it’s slowly becoming something that’s no longer taboo and we can actually talk about it," said Esther Mejia.

The students also said there is a message they want young people to understand.

"Just realizing that you’re not alone...that’s the thing that’s most important," Mejia explained.

Atwill added, "You are heard, you matter. Your lives are not indispensable and I’m afraid that that’s not what we’re going to hear, but that’s the message I want them to get."

Lawmakers are also weighing in on the hearings.

Governor Charlie Baker said on Twitter, "The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation. There should be no vote in the Senate."

Students we spoke to said they are continuing to carry their message forward.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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