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Thursday's sobering testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on Capitol Hill, in which she detailed allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, sent shockwaves across a nation that's only recently begun paying attention to survivors of sexual assault. Her vivid retelling—and Kavanaugh's enraged, unhinged response—was particularly jolting to those who've experienced a similarly traumatizing sexual assault in the past.

The public display of genuine fear (and bravery) from Ford and fierce dismissal from Kavanaugh and Republican Senators forced many to relive their past assaults—whether they were prepared to or not. This wave of trauma resulted in an instant 738 percent uptick in calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Local data echoes this uptick. According to the Sexual Assault Resource (SARC) line—the 24-hour sexual assault hotline for the Portland metro region—operators saw a 166 percent increase in calls coming in Friday morning, the day after Ford's testimony. The SARC line works as an emergency resource for people needing immediate help but offers to connect survivors with case managers who can help with less-urgent care.

SARC saw a 400 percent uptick in callers asking to be referred to a case manager after the Thursday hearing.

Amy Beard, SARC's executive director, says case managers do everything from helping a survivor report their assault to the police to helping them track down new housing.

"The journey to healing starts at a different place for each person," Beard says.

She says SARC has never seen this kind of sharp increase before. "It was a clear response," says Beard, who was manning SARC's phone line Monday morning—the rest of her staff were out working with clients. "That's why we're here."

Call to Safety (formerly Portland Woman's Crisis Line) also saw Ford's testimony reflected in its call center.

"We've definitely recognized an increase in people wanting to process past sexual assaults, especially people who haven't ever talked to anyone about it," says Fay Schuler, executive director of Call to Safety. Schuler isn't yet able to calculate if Call to Safety has seen an uptick in calls since the Senate hearing. But she can certainly understand why more people would be wanting to talk.

"I think we all heard ourselves in Dr. Ford's recollection of what happened. Hearing her voice shake as she testified, seeing her expression. It makes others' stories a reality," she says.

SARC and Call to Safety advocates are available 24 hours a day at these hotlines:
SARC: (503) 640-5311
Call to Safety: (503) 235-5333