South Bay sexual assault hotline sees uptick following Blasey Ford's testimony

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The National Sexual Assault Hotline reported a 200 percent increase in people seeking their help following Thursday's emotional testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

One South Bay crisis center hotline is also citing an uptick.

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The phone lines at the YWCA Silicon Valley have been busier than normal. Crisis counselors have been taking calls from sexual assault survivors.

"Counseling and therapy is one of the first resources that we see survivors wanting," Alex Richardson, crisis intervention manager at YWCA Silicon Valley. "They want to be able to have a safe person to share that story with."

Richardson says they've seen a steady increase in callers following Christine Blasey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She says watching Ford share her story of sexual assault on the world stage could have given other survivors the courage to come forward to get help.

"One of the hallmarks of trauma is that when we see something like that happens or you hear a story that resonates with something that maybe you experienced, that that can bring up some of those emotions or experiences again."

The San Jose center offers a full range of services, including emergency shelter and legal advocacy to women who've been sexually abused or assaulted.

VIDEO: Christine Blasey Ford testimony at Senate hearing

On their walls are messages of support to survivors who have been helped.

Richardson advises that the best thing to do if a survivor wants to share their story is to listen.

"First and foremost that we believe them. That we're here, that we'll support them in any way that we can," said Richardson.

People seeking resources or looking for someone to share their story with can call the YWCA 24/7 hotline: 1(800)572-2782.

Callers can remain anonymous.

For more on the resources available at YWCA Silicon Valley, visit this page.

For more stories related to the Kavanaugh hearing and Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, visit this page.
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