Survivors Speak: Sexual Assault Hotline Calls Spike Following ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Premiere

- By Bossip Staff

Jazz In the Garden

Source: Glenn Parson / Glenn Parson

The Docuseries Is Already Making Positive Waves

It seems Surviving R. Kelly has left an impact on victims and survivors of sexual assault.

According to NBC News, one of the country’s leading sexual-assault hotlines received a 20 percent spike in calls after Surviving R. Kelly aired on Lifetime.

The six-part docuseries covers decades of R. Kelly‘s alleged sexual misconduct. It aired over the course of last Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network runs the major sexual assault hotline and they said they received 20 percent more calls than the prior week.

The president of the network, Scott Berkowitz, said the kinds of calls they get often reflect news events.

“We often see the types of callers we get will follow the news cycle,” Berkowitz said. “With the R. Kelly show, we were seeing more folks who are talking about childhood abuse.”

This definitely isn’t the first time the network received a spike in calls following a certain news cycle. When Christine Blasey Ford testified before a Senate committee saying she was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network said calls to their hotline rose by 201 percent!

“We heard from older women during the Kavanaugh hearings, and fewer men and kids than a normal day,” Berkowitz said.

Lifetime reached out to RAINN before Surviving R. Kelly aired, according to Berkowitz. He said they made contact just in case RAINN received an influx of hotline calls.

“We try and staff up as much as possible if we know something is coming up, and over the last year we added over 50 hotline staff because the demand has just kept growing and growing,” Berkowitz said.

Certainly the Lifetime documentary ignited some strong emotions for viewers and survivors alike. It features testimony from women who accuse Kelly of physical, mental and sexual abuse, and it also features commentary from associates and relatives of the singer, including his brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly.

Meanwhile, R. Kelly continually denies the allegations against him and a Facebook page was even created to discredit his accusers. It has since been taken down, according to E! News, with a Facebook spokesperson saying, “We do not tolerate bullying or sharing someone’s private contact information and take action on content that violates our policies as soon as we’re aware.”

Whomp whomp R. Kelly supporters.

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