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Sexual assault hotline calls break records following Kavanaugh hearings

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By Evi Tarshis ’20

When California psychologist professor, Christine BlaseyFord testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on DATE, hotlines across the country, including the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), said they had received calls from more than 3,000 people, a record breaking number since the company’s start in 1994. Since then, RAINN has reported a 338 percent increase in calls.

“Over this past year, following the cases of Weinstein and Cosby and the explosion of #MeToo, our numbers have been growing pretty rapidly,” Scott Berkowitz, the organization’s president, said. “But we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Grace Taylor ’20 is a strong supporter in making sure women’s voices are heard. “People like Ford comfort me in the idea that if I was ever in some sort of crisis, I could come forward and people would listen,” Taylor said.

Andrea Lopez, spokeswoman from the Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio, Texas, told CNN that along with an increase of calls, the length of the these calls have also increased. They are now lasting 30-45 minutes instead of the typical 15-20.

“Callers are specifically citing the Kavanaugh hearing as their reason for feeling triggered,” Lopez added.

Ford coming out and speaking about her experience has inspired many others to do the same. Berkowitz elaborated by saying how history shows us that when high-profile allegations such as these are in the news it often causes others to reach out too. “This story has clearly resonated with survivors,” Berkowitz said, “and has led thousands to reach out for help for the first time.”

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Sexual assault hotline calls break records following Kavanaugh hearings