RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As the Kavanaugh vote looms and with the controversy heavy on the minds of many, people around the country are reacting. Although Kavanaugh hasn’t been found guilty of any wrongdoing, the situation itself is leaving many survivors of sexual and domestic violence seeking help.
YWCA Richmond Chief Program Officer Becky Lee says they have seen an increase in calls to their crisis hotline, many from survivors hoping to share their stories.
“In the past week in particular, we have had more calls that were specifically related to survivors feeling triggered,” Lee said.
Because of that, Lee says the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline, which is for people who have or are experiencing domestic or sexual violence, has been ringing more than usual.
“When someone is triggered, there is almost a re-experiencing of that earlier trauma,” Lee said.
Many of those survivors are using the YWCA’s hotline as a place to vent and be heard.
"What we experience is survivors across the board, young, older, male, female who are triggered by all of the conversation," Lee said.
A lot of those people, according to Lee, are telling their stories for the first time.
Sonja Holt, a survivor herself and founder of Second Chance at Renewing Self (SCARS), said the same thing.
“Nationally, as well as locally, the numbers have increased, sometimes doubled,” Holt said.
Holt shares her story to help others. She was emotionally and physically abused by her ex-fiance and mustered up the courage to leave him on June 24th, 2008, after staying with him for 11 years.
“It was the day I took my life back,” Holt said. “It was the day I made the decision to no longer be bound, no longer be controlled.”
If anyone is experiencing/has experienced domestic or intimate partner violence, a free and confidential resource is our Greater Richmond Regional Hotline at 804-612-6126.
- Serves anywhere in the Richmond region
- Free, confidential, live trauma specialists 24/7
- Your first point of contact for services at the YWCA Richmond or DV/SA agency closest to you
- Direction to crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, case management, hospital based services and support