An Anchorage group formed to fight domestic violence has reported a 20 percent uptick in calls to its crisis line.

A release from Standing Together Against Rape said 2,230 people called the phone line during its 2018 fiscal year. That's about 400 more than the year before.

"We don't know what we don't know," Jennifer Brown, STAR's development manager, said about whether the rise in calls signifies that there were more sexual abuse cases. "We can only tell on what's being reported. I think people are just feeling more comfortable reaching out for help because there's less of a stigma attached to that."

She thinks one reason people may feel more comfortable reaching out is because of the #MeToo movement. 

"It's in headlines everyday," Brown said. "People are seeing famous actresses, Olympic athletes reaching out for help, and so they're feeling I think more compelled to reach out."

In the past month, a state sexual assault bill was signed into law and a federal sexual assault healthcare bill was introduced.

STAR's crisis line is staffed 24 hours a day, by a total of about 35 volunteers.

If you or someone you know are a survivor of sexual abuse and you would like to talk to someone, you can call STAR at 907-276-7273 or toll-free at 800-478-8999.

STAR also has resources available on their its website.

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