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Sexual Assault Center Sees 4X More Calls During Vanderbilt Rape Trial

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Published on Jan 28, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- At the Sexual Assault Center in Nashville survivors make t-shirts to communicate their feelings.

"Just forget just move on" "Broken and abused" and "Getting better" are among the messages displayed on those shirts at the center this week.

The road to being able to make that type of communication begins with a phone call to the center and lately more women have been making it.

President Tim Tohill says calls from sexual assault survivors actually quadrupled during the Vanderbilt rape trial.

"They've heard some of those horrible examples of what she experienced and it's triggered some of that in them and they realize they need some help," said Tohill.

Tohill sees that as a positive development considering how many victims don't come forward.

Nationwide only an estimated 46% ever report the crime to police.

The reasons why vary by survivor.

Amy Sulam was one of those survivors who didn't report it at first.

She says one reason why is that she actually worried about her assailant.

"I actually felt guilty that I would ruin his life," said Sulam.

Sulam eventually spoke up and even did a television interview about her experiences in a Fox 17 News report last November because she hopes to help others in her situation.

The victim in the Vanderbilt rape case said something similar in the statement she released following Tuesday's verdict.

"I want to remind other victims of sexual violence you are not alone you are not to blame," said the victim.

That's something counselors at the Sexual Assault Center will be saying to even more women who now have the courage to seek counseling.

"They know how to help somebody and how to help them understand the decisions they've been making and the coping they've been using then help them find healthier ways to do that," said Tohill.

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