Calls to King County sexual-assault hotline up 20 percent during Kavanaugh hearings

RENTON, Wash. -- The Brett Kavanaugh hearing has had a wide-spread impact on sexual assault victims across the country. In King County, calls from victims are on the rise and supporters say people are feeling  increasingly comfortable telling their stories.

Dr. Christine Ford’s decision to speak up about an alleged assault by Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh has gripped the nation. Advocates say they’ve seen a dramatic increase in calls from sexual assault victims in King County.

“Our calls to our 24-hour resource line are up 20 percent. Legal advocacy cases are up another 13 percent. We’re seeing that over a period of time as compared to the same time period last year,” said Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.

Today Dr. Ford sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee to give her account of what happened back in 1982, when she says Kavanaugh tried to rape her and she feared for her life.

Team members at the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center watched the hearing and live-Tweeted during the proceeding.

“Everything she’s saying is completely consistent with what our experience has been with victims every single day. We hear this all the time. So, from our prospective, she’s very credible,” Stone said.

Stone believes Ford has shown tremendous courage by coming forward because it's estimated nearly 40 percent of sexual assaults go unreported and it’s not unusual for a victim to hide their painful experience for years.

“Often what we see is that when someone waits that long, there’s some incident that pushes them forward to say, 'OK, things have changed. It is time for me to speak out,'" Stone said.

The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center says its resources are being stretched because of the increase in calls but they’ll continue to serve the community.

“KCSARC, the Sexual Assault Resource Center, we’re a non-profit organization and we are here solely for victims and their families. We hear from victims every day. We may here from someone who was raped yesterday, we may here from someone who was raped 40 years ago. We’re here,” said Stone.

The Resource Center's motto is: It’s never too late to call. If any victim of sexual assault needs someone to talk to, they can call 888-99-VOICE. For more information about the KCSARC, go to .