Sexual Assault Hotline Calls Up

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JEFFERSON CITY - Since last week's Kavanaugh hearing, sexual assault hotlines are reporting an increase in calls in Missouri and throughout the country. 

Matthew Huffman, public affairs director of Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said that the "Me Too" environment is leading some survivors to come forward. 

"Many survivors do feel empowered and wanted to come forward and connect and share their story," he said. "But we also know there are many reasons why people don't want to come forward and share their story." 

Last year, Missouri sexual violence programs received over 8 thousand calls. 

Almost 7,000 adults and children received sexual violence services in Missouri in 2017. These are just reported incidents, many incidents go unreported something, Huffman said is due to the stigma around sexual assault. 

"We don't ask other victims of crime to come forward and put themselves in a vulnerable position to have their creditability questioned," Huffman said. "So when we think about specific examples about why survivors don't want to come forward, they don't want to be questioned about their own credibility, they don't want to relive their own trauma." 

The one year anniversary of the Me Too movement is on Friday. The New York Times first reported on allegations against Harvey Weinstein.