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Sexual assault hotline receives call surge following ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ series

Source: Billboard | Rania Aniftos

After the airing of Lifetime’s six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network’s sexual crisis hotline received 20 percent more calls than the week before, according to NBC News.

“We often see the types of callers we get will follow the news cycle,” RAINN president Scott Berkowitz told NBC. “With the R. Kelly show, we were seeing more folks who are talking about childhood abuse.”

R. Kelly performs during the Holiday Jam at Fox Theater on Dec. 27, 2016 in Atlanta.

Throughout the six-hour series that ran from Thursday through Saturday, a number of women accused Kelly of mental, physical and sexual abuse — and many were underage at the time. Kelly himself was also molested as a child by family members.

“I’m not going to throw any of my family under the bus, but I feel I owe my fans at least enough of an understanding to what I went through. Yes, I was molested from 7 on to 13 or 14 or something like that, by people in my family,” Kelly admitted in a 2002 interview with Tavis Smiley. “Sexually, it woke up my hormones a lot earlier than they were supposed to be awakened.”

Kelly is reportedly under criminal investigation in Georgia following accusations made in the docuseries, according to TMZ. And the Cook County state’s attorney held a press conference in Chicago on Tuesday (Jan. 8) to encourage accusers to come forward and tell their stories to the authorities.

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