Women's Community sees increase in crisis line calls

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Calls to the Women's Community crisis hotline in Wausau at least doubled last week, with calls of victims getting help and parents concerned about their children.

The call increase came the same week of 7 Investigates' week-long series covering child sexual assault.

Jessica Lind, the program coordinator for the sexual assault victims program said calls started coming in Monday after the first set of stories air Sunday. She recalled many of the callers and some walk-ins mentioning they had seen the coverage and became concerned either about themselves or their children.

"'I've noticed this in my child or I'm concerned about their behavior after they've returned home from visiting another family member,' and so I think the coverage really helped people be able to identify that 'oh, maybe there is something that I need to pay attention to or there's something that my child is now displaying that I'm concerned about and they're people out there that could help me.'"

Some viewers told 7 Investigates they felt the system failed them and their child. Lind said organizations like the Women's Community are still an option for people to get some answers and resources in those cases too.

"We can help explain why things may have happened the way they've happened or other options," she stated. "We can certainly work with people who maybe they couldn't get their case to go through the system because there wasn't enough evidence, but we can still help them safety-plan, we can help them with parenting issues, we can help them with support systems and still help them come up with ways to help keep kids safe."

For a list of resources, including other organizations similar to the Women's Community throughout north central Wisconsin, click here. If you missed the series 7 Investigates: A Cycle of Abuse, those stories and additional content are available online right now.