CLEVELAND-- While Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight are speaking out, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center says the women have encouraged other victims of sexual violence to also speak out.
"The impact to the case is not just the survivor, family, and friends, but anyone who is watching on TV what has happened," said Sondra Miller, Vice President of External Affairs with the Crisis Center.
According to Miller, calls to their hotline have spiked and the center has been inundated with new clients.
"Even though someone has survived their own rape 20 years ago, watching a case on TV can bring up new trauma symptoms: nightmares, anxiety attacks. They may relive their experiences over and over again," added Miller.
The crisis center says immediately after the rescue, nearly every client who came in our door mentioned the case in some form or another.
"It takes an extreme amount of courage to call for help. We want all the survivors to know that even if their rape happened yesterday or 5, 10, 20 years ago, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center can be a resource for them and help is available. And the first step is simply picking up the phone and asking for help," added Miller.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline is 216-619-6192.