Calls to Sexual Assault Hotline spikes during Christine Blasey F - FOX34 Lubbock

Calls to Sexual Assault Hotline spikes during Christine Blasey Ford hearing

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

During the gripping, emotional hearing Thursday, Doctor Christine Blasey Ford's testimony coincided with a surge of calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Andrea Romi, a Texas Tech professor who studies the "Times Up" and "Me Too" movements, said the accuser's courage to testify is inspiring others. 

"I think for so long, this was an issue that wasn't discussed and victims did not talk about it," Romi said. 

These past few days have been hard for Romi and much of the country. However, she said Ford's testimony is symbolic of these movements. 

"It brings attention to the issue and other victims that they do have a voice," Romi said. "They do have power. Even if it doesn't ultimately result in what she'd like to be the outcome, she still has stepped up and taken control of an issue that's affected her greatly and she's taken back that power."

Since Ford's come forward with her allegations against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, accusing him of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago, the National Sexual Assault hotline has seen a nearly 46 percent increase in reports. 

"Statistically speaking from an historical standpoint, the false accusation rate is only 2 percent which is not unlike any false accusation of any kind," Romi said. 

Romi points out accountability is being taken more seriously. However, in this scenario, politics are playing a significant role. Texas Tech law professor Arnold Loewy said it is complicated due to the power this role holds. 

"At least the person who is elected President you can throw out of office in 2020, if you don't impeach them first," Loewy said. "You can't do that with a Supreme Court Justice. He's got a lifetime appointment, which I think overall is a good thing because that way judges don't have to worry about keeping the people happy when they decide to vote."

Loewy expects, confirmed or not, people will be angry. 

"Similar to the backlash in the Clarence Thomas situation but maybe more so because of the 'Me Too' movement," Loewy said.

A movement Romi believes goes beyond party lines. 

"You can believe a victim and still do your due diligence and go through and evaluate the person that's being accused of these crimes," Romi said. "You don't have to immediately say that this persons done everything and this person is a horrible person. I think that you just remain very supportive of the individual that's come forward and then you do the investigation of the individual that's being accused."

Through her and her colleagues research, she found many companies and industries are holding those accused accountable.

"When managers about these types of organizations found about about these behaviors, there were punishment for these types of things," Romi said. "When you're talking about politics, it's a different story. So We'll have to see what happens." 

If you or someone you know are looking for resources to talk about sexual assault, you can call 1-800-656-4673 or visit this website

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