I get by with a little help from my [hotline] friends
Last Thursday, the National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 201% increase above normal volume and unprecedented wait times — the busiest in its 24-year history. Seems Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s courage is contagious. And the trends aren’t just national. Since the #MeToo movement began, local org. RISE has seen a 252% increase in counseling service needs. “Where a waiting list of 30 was not uncommon before, we had 176 on the waiting list this spring and continue to see long waits,” according to Mariko Kriege, RISE Development & Marketing Manager. And their sexual assault crisis calls to the hotline increased 322% this year compared to 2017 to date.
In support of Dr. Ford, about 100 people gathered last week outside SLO Superior Court to show solidarity with #whyididntreport. And this summer, KCBX hosted Central Coast Voices: Life After #MeToo, offering ways our community can help victims. It’s been a rough few weeks for survivors, recently mocked by our very own Pres. And not to sound spooky AF, but local women are having secret meetings and brainstorming ways to move forward and have a positive effect on our community. With Domestic Violence Awareness Month arriving this week with eerie timing, come show your support at one of these important events.
If you have experienced sexual assault, support is available even if you choose not to report to law enforcement. RISE has certified counselors avail on a 24-hour crisis hotline: 855.886.7473.