Sexual assault hotline RAINN sees spike in calls
The National Sexual Assault Hotline experienced a 42 percent increase in phone calls on Friday and Saturday following Donald Trump’s comments on his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of sexual assault by a growing number of women.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the organization that runs the national hotline for survivors, spent the weekend fielding calls and tweeting out ways we can help survivors of sexual assault. Despite knowing how horribly our country treats victims of sexual assault, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wrote to Senator Dianne Feinstein about the time Kavanaugh allegedly attacked her. In a surprise to absolutely no one, Trump acted like the terrible person he is and called into question Ford’s account of the attack. He implied that if she didn’t have police reports from the time Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her in high school then we shouldn’t believe that she was attacked.
Sexual assault survivors responded on Twitter citing the many reasons victims don’t report their crimes. The hashtag #WhyIDidntReport started trending and addressed Trump’s victim-blaming bullshit, which, for the record, is one of the main reasons survivors don’t report their attacks. Our politicians and law enforcement officials attack the victim and accuse them of lying then turn around and say, “well, why didn’t the report the crime right away?” And, sadly, the same thing is happening to Ford, even though she gains nothing by coming forward and even passed a lie detector test.
It is because of this constant harassment of victims that only 15.8 to 35 percent of all sexual assaults are reported to law enforcement officials. That is a small percentage when you consider one out of every six women in the United States has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, according to the Department of Justice.
As news outlets reported on the awful, traumatic incident Ford experienced and Trump’s vile attempts to shame her, they made sure to include the hotline information so survivors of sexual assault could call RAINN.
If you need to speak with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area call 800.656.HOPE (4673). All calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline are confidential, only the first six numbers of a phone number are shown to route the call, and the full phone number is never stored in the RAINN system.