Rape and sex assault crisis hotlines see record numbers of calls following Blasey Ford testimony

- In the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s gripping testimony, women and men around the country watched anxiously to hear her side of the story. And as hundreds of Americans protested, showed their support, or expressed their disbelief, thousands of others picked up the phone.

The National Sex Assault Hotline reportedly received twice as many calls than usual Thursday, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

Local hotlines also saw an uptick in calls. The DC Rape Crisis Center said they heard from so many people, they haven't had a chance to count exactly how many, according to Executive Director Indira Henard.

“Things have been extraordinarily busy. We have seen a significant spike in hotline calls within the last 72 hours,” Henard said Friday. She says the DC Rape Crisis Center had nearly 100 people answering the phones at the time.

As the focus on monumental hearings on Thursday, Blasey Ford alleges Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were at a gathering at a Montgomery County home when they were in high school. Blasey Ford was a student at Holton Arms School, and Kavanaugh, a student at Georgetown Prep.

“This is truly a watershed moment for sexual violence, and the impacts of that is not just nationally, but also locally," said Henard.

A 76-year-old woman even called into C-SPAN Thursday and tearfully recounted her own painful memories, which she said were spurred by Blasey Ford’s testimony.

“This brings back so much pain,” the woman said. “I thought I was over it, but it’s not. You will never forget it. You get confused and you don’t understand it, but you never forget what happened to you.”

The DC Rape Crisis Center 24/7 hotline can be reached at (202)333-RAPE.

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