D.C. Rape Crisis Hotline receives influx of calls following Cosby decision

The D.C. Rape Crisis Center says it’s received an influx of calls from survivors after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction.

"They don’t understand how this can be. And what it’s really bringing up is their own sexual trauma. Survivors are being re-triggered and they’re being re-traumatized. They’re wondering if they decide to go through the justice system, would something  similar happen to them," Indira Henard, Executive Director at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center said.

Henard said on Wednesday night alone the center received 10% more calls than normal from sexual assault victims. As a result, they’ve been holding emergency crisis sessions and making more counselors available. She says they’ve been encouraging survivors to limit their news exposure and reach out to people in their inner circle for support.

"We’re encouraging them to do things that are good for their heart and that keeps them in the present. Things that they love to do. Whether it’s walking, yoga, things that can really bring down the nervous system," Henard said.

Henard said she doesn’t want this to deter victims from stepping forward.

"What happened Wednesday does not negate the fact that Bill Cosby is a rapist, that he was convicted and he got off on a technicality. We really want them to know that healing is possible. Justice is different. We want survivors to have their own survivor justice. Whatever that looks like," Henard said.

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The D.C. Rape Crisis Center provides and array of services to survivors. You can reach their crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE.

"We want survivors of sexual violence to know that we stand with you. We will always stand with you. We believe you. You are not alone. We do not want them to feel like this is going to happen to them," Henard said.