BUFFALO, NY - With the topic of alleged sexual assault coming to the forefront of people's minds during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, we're learning that this situation - perhaps not surprisingly - has had an effect on the hotline for Erie County's Crisis Services.
The lengthy hearing itself and widespread media coverage around it has resulted in sexual assault survivors to call Crisis Services seeking help.
Crisis Services says that they have not seen an uptick in calls to their hotline as a result of the Kavanaugh hearing.
Instead, according to the director of the Crisis Services hotline, Caitlin Powalski people who know a sexual assault survivor, or have experienced sexual assault themselves have been calling, after watching the hearing or media coverage of it. Experts say public discussion of alleged sexual assault can be triggering for some.
"In regards to the national coverage and local coverage I'm glad this is being spoken about but I also want survivors and their loved ones and all of us who are working in this to take care of themselves to know that it can be difficult but help is available" Powalski said.
That assistance includes options to find shelter, or counseling or it could be just having a talk with a hotline counselor. Crisis Services says the Kavanaugh hearing, could cause survivors to call them in the future, not necessarily right away.
If you or someone you know needs help or need someone to talk to -- the 24-hour crisis services hotline number is 716-834-3131.