American non-profit Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) received an influx of calls to its National Sexual Assault Hotline when “Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning” aired on Lifetime. The second season of the polarizing television docu-series premiered on Monday.
RAINN’s press secretary confirmed the spike in calls in a statement saying:
“The Friday and Saturday after Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning aired, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline experienced a 40% increase in calls.”
“We are proud to have partnered with Lifetime on this project and are encouraged that our work with the media continues to empower survivors of sexual violence to seek the help that they need to heal.”
The Surviving R. Kelly series is an Emmy-nominated special that documents the controversy surrounding the rapper. Born Robert Sylvester Kelly, the hip hop artist has long been rumored for allegedly committing sexual abuse, pedophilia, and several other sexual crimes. The docu-series features interviews from survivors, accusers, legal experts, fans, and psychologists as well as notable figures in entertainment.
In partnership with RAINN, the series included the organization’s hotline number for sexual abuse as well as a public service announcement.
Senior Vice President of Lifetime’s Unscripted Programming Brie Miranda Bryant said, “We are so thankful for our partnership with RAINN as part of our Stop Violence Against Women Initiative and to see the jump in calls during the airings of Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.”
She also commended the courage of the survivors who shared their stories for paving the way for more survivors to come forward.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.