‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Sequel Increases Calls To Sexual Assault Hotline By 40%

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According to RAINN, its national hotline often sees sharp increases when sexual abuse and assault cases make the headlines.

By Paula Rogo, ESSENCE

The National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a spike in phone calls following the airing of Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.

The follow-up to Lifetime’s explosive docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, the sequel examined the aftermath of Kelly’s arrest in 2019 and the charges brought against him.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline, created and run by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), received nearly double the calls since The Reckoning aired last week.

“The Friday and Saturday after Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning aired, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline experienced a 40% increase in calls,” said Erinn Robinson, RAINN Press Secretary. “We are proud to have partnered with Lifetime on this project and are encouraged that our work with the media continues to empower survivors of sexual violence to seek the help that they need to heal.”

After the first documentary aired last January, the hotline also saw a spike in phone calls. When the three-part series aired, the hotline received 27% more calls in a week.

According to RAINN, its hotline often sees sharp increases when sexual abuse and assault makes the headlines. The Daily Beast reports that when Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the hotline saw a 147 percent increase in calls and when Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape was released in 2016, which showed him bragging about accosting women, there was a 33 percent increase in calls.

This article originally appeared in ESSENCE.

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