PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Millions of people watched Thursday as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee as part of a hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Ford testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in high school — inspiring others to come forward about their own experiences with sexual assault.
Local organizations that help victims of sexual assault said they’ve seen an enormous jump in the number of people asking for support. The Sexual Assault Resource Center in Beaverton saw a 166% increase in calls to its crisis center.
The hotline connects callers with licensed mental health professionals to provide immediate support.
Executive Director Amy Beard said Ford speaking about her experience was emotional for clients and staff, but it empowered other to come forward about their own experiences or reach out for help.
“For a lot of us who have been through that or know people who’ve been through that, family and friends loved ones, that’s an emotional moment,” Beard said. “We feel empathetic towards her, we feel more empathetic towards ourselves, toward our loved ones who have been through this trauma and we need to talk about that, we need to get that out in the open. “
The SARC offers free and confidential services.