Residents in this city are hanging dozens of bedsheet banners to support survivors of sexual assault

Posted at 11:30 AM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 13:30:15-04

It’s hard to miss how residents of Covington, Kentucky, are making their voices heard about sexual assault.

Bedsheet banners bearing messages — “We believe you,” “Believe women,” “Thank you Dr. Ford” — have been hanging from the windows of dozens of homes since Christine Blasey Ford testified before a Senate committee that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

They’re all the work of a Covington mother of five, Emily Wolff, who decided to take action after watching the hearing last week.

“The mission of the bedsheets was to start a larger conversation about sexual assault,” Wolff told CNN, citing statistics that show a quarter of all women have been sexually assaulted. “One in four women is far too many.”

Wolff messaged a group of her friends in this suburb across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, and the sign-making began.

“It’s kind of a play on the fraternities that hang bedsheets during rush week,” Wolff told CNN affiliate WKRC.

On Friday, Wolff and other women handed out the banners to residents on their street, who unfurled them from upstairs windows. The sheets bear different messages, but all support survivors of sexual assault.

“Though this bedsheet campaign came to light during of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, we believe this issue is neither Democratic or Republican but a human issue that needs to be addressed on a national level,” Wolff said.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied Ford’s allegations, but the hearing has inspired women around the country to share their own stories of sexual assault.

The banners have since spread throughout Covington. One reading “bravery is contagious” — a statement to Ford last week from Sen. Patrick Leahy — was even spotted on an overpass.

“The response within our community has been overwhelmingly positive,” Wolff said. “Both men and women have come forward in thanks and to share their stories about sexual assault.”

Wolff said she hopes the campaign will spread throughout the entire state.