A national sexual assault hotline has reported a record number of increased calls in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the U.S. has said that in the last two weeks, calls to their hotline has gone up by nearly a quarter over the same period last year. The spike occurred after the allegations against the Hollywood mogul first went public two weeks ago.
“We’ve been helping over 800 people a day,” RAINN president Scott Berkowitz said to Fox News. “Overall, over the last couple of weeks, it’s up 21 percent over prior [time periods].”
The increase comes as a larger national discussion about sexual assault and abuse of power has come to the forefront.
“Some nights, even though we’ve brought on dozens of additional staff to answer the hotline we’ve seen queues as high as 60 people waiting for help,” Berkowitz said.
A Rainn spokesperson says that there is usually a spike in calls after every high-profile accusation of sexual assault, according to a recent report in The Guardian. They say it’s due to everyday people motivated to share their own stories or are prompted to relieve their past attacks. The result is a surge in calls made to support groups, loved ones, and law-enforcement agencies.
“The coverage of this story and the many courageous voices that have spoken out have helped survivors [of sexual abuse] feel that they are not alone.”
The national discussion regarding sexual assault has also spurred a national movement on social media with the hashtag, “#MeToo” which has shed a light on the long-standing issue.
The #MeToo hashtag has been used over 200,000 times, according to the BBC, including from celebrities such as Evan Rachel Wood, Lady Gaga, and Debra Messing.
The outcry on social media comes after a number of actresses, including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan, have accused disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, assault and in the case of British actor Lysette Anthony, rape.
Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article.