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Number Of Calls To Sexual Assault Response Helplines Were Up In Maine Following Kavanuagh Hearings

Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Calls to sexual assault response helplines were up dramatically in Maine and across the country Thursday as Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago.

Melanie Sachs is executive director of Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine. She says the organization has been getting calls from some people who were sexually assaulted recently and others for whom the assault was long ago.

“Overall our helpline reflects exactly what we've been seeing in the media, which is for some the assault was very recent, and for some it was decades ago,” she says.

Numbers aren't available for Maine, but the national anti-sexual violence group RAINN says the number of people who called its hotline yesterday was 201 percent above average.

“We don't give out numbers as a policy, but we will say that our calls significantly increased yesterday, and we will say that 100 percent of the callers referenced the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings,” says Sachs.

She says anyone who's been sexually assaulted can call the group's hotline at 800-871-7741.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.