#MeToo movement results in more calls to local rape crisis centers

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is facing allegations of sexual assault. (File)

As allegations continue to mount against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and actors, a conversation about sexual violence is reverberating around in the country, including mid-Missouri.

Officials with the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) said Tuesday what's happening in Hollywood is not surprising because sexual violence affects many people.

Jennifer Dochler, the Public Policy Director for the organization, said the #MeToo social media movement helped raise awareness to how widespread the issue is. She said as a result, local rape crisis centers are seeing more victims reaching out to talk.

"We have heard from member agencies that they have had folks reaching out, just wanting to talk to someone, either because they did disclose and friends and families didn't realize what had happened, and navigating that to, they didn't feel comfortable disclosing but they wanted to talk to someone," said Dochler.

In 2016, nearly 7,000 people received services as a result of sexual violence, according to MCADSV.

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