Cleveland Rape Crisis Center sees increase in calls

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CLEVELAND-- Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and Senate candidate Roy Moore.

These are all names of powerful, famous men in the headlines, who are accused of sexual assault or harassment.

As a result, the allegations are prompting more victims to come forward, including big names in Hollywood.

Her brand new memoir describes being raped, during a robbery as a college student. During a recent book tour, at the Commonwealth Club in California, actress Gabrielle Union speaks publicly about how she dealt with the trauma, and the label "victim."

"Trying to deal with post-traumatic stress syndrome, trying to function, trying to get to class, trying to figure out how to not be 'other' as, you know what happened, that girl," Union said.

So from those in the national spotlight, to victims who are sharing their stories privately, like at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. It's seen a 50 percent increase in the number of calls to its rape crisis and support line.

In fact, Sondra Miller, president and CEO, says they will more than likely exceed 6,000 calls in 2017 alone.

"Now we have celebrities and politicians and people with a lot of power and a lot of status who are bringing this issue out of the shadows, bringing it out from under the rug," Miller said.

Sexual assault on average happens every 98 seconds in the United States. Most attackers are not well known, however, most are known to their victims.

"So many survivors who come here, they were hurt a long time ago, but these things are developing in them. They're realizing that they need to address this in order to move on and heal,” Miller said.

Miller said as more victims continue to share their stories publicly, unfortunately, the stigma remains.

“Even with all the headlines, we still think only about a third of sexual assaults are ever reported to formal authority. So we still have a long way to go before we have a society who's willing to talk about sexual assault and report it to police."

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