National Sexual Assault Hotline Spiked 147% During Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, vehemently denying all charges of sexual assault.
But before his testimony, his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, shared her own recollections of the alleged incident with the committee, saying she was “one hundred percent” certain that Kavanaugh was her attacker.
While opinions about whose testimony is more credible remain divided, Thursday’s events triggered at least one reaction among much of the American public. The National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 147% increase in calls on Thursday, compared to a normal weekday.
RAINN, the anti-sexual violence organization that runs the hotline, also warned that it was “experiencing unprecedented wait times for our online chat,” encouraging people to call the hotline or “reach out via chat tomorrow.”
The organization appears to have anticipated such an influx, tweeting on Monday, “Hearing about sexual violence in the media and online can be very difficult for survivors and their loved ones. Remember to take care of yourself during these times. Below is a thread of resources”
What’s more, RAINN told TIME that while it is common for the hotline to experience a spike when stories of assault dominate the news, Thursday’s numbers marked an unusually high surge.
When Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape was released in 2016, calls to the hotline jumped 33%, reports Time. RAINN has seen a 45.6% increase in the days since Ford’s allegation was made public as compared to the same time period last year. That number spiked again after Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez came forward, up 57% compared to an average Friday through Sunday.