According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the airing of the second installment of Surviving R. Kelly led to a 40% spike in calls to their hotline.
Surviving R. Kelly, Part II: The Reckoning premiered last Thursday on the Lifetime network. Like the first part of the series, it documents the alleged relationships between the singer and underage girls.
Scott Berkowitz, who is the president and founder of RAINN, indicated that the spike was not surprising. He said that it often happens after the broadcast of highly publicized sexual assault cases. He further said that the busiest day in the organization’s history was the one after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court nomination hearing in 2018.
Still, Berkowitz told Cheddar: “The impact [of the airing] has been incredible. We’ve seen hundreds of survivors reaching out for help, many of them for the very first time.” He went on to say, “As the R. Kelly survivors demonstrated, it takes some time, it takes some help, but you are going to make it through.”
Lifetime has also included the number of the National Sexual Assault Hotline in the series as part of its partnership with RAINN and its Stop Violence Against Women initiative. This partnership has also allowed the organization to connect with some of the people profiled in the documentary.
Currently, Kelly is in prison while facing a number of federal charges, including child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labor, racketeering and obstruction of justice.
In addition to the many charges he faces, Kelly made news last month when he was accused of bribing a public official in order to marry singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline provides support to more than 800 survivors of abuse daily. It is available 24/7 either by phone or online chat.