Several Democratic representatives intend to bring sexual assault survivors to President Trump’s first State of the Union address at the end of January to raise awareness about the issue, according to a new report.
“Some members will be bringing survivors of sexual assault and advocates as their guests,” an aide to Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., told NBC News.
Frankel suggested mock hearings with women who have alleged Trump sexually assaulted them during a meeting earlier this week, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., advised against the move.
Pelosi said that a “hearing” would detract from focusing on victims and on bipartisan efforts to enact legislation to address sexual assault and harassment, NBC reported.
Additionally, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said she and a group of fellow female House members are urging both male and female lawmakers of both parties to wear black at the event. She added that the Democratic Working Women’s Group strongly backed the move.
“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it,” Speier said in an interview with NBC News on Tuesday.
The decision to wear black to the State of the Union is not the first of its kind. At the Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Sunday, many attendees decided to wear black for the same reasons Speier outlined.
Since last fall, a series of sexual assault and harassment allegations emerged against figures in the media, politics, and Hollywood, starting with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly sexually abused women over the course of 40 years.
The State of the Union is scheduled for Jan. 30. Trump will deliver it before a joint session of Congress.