More survivors are reaching out to STAR—Standing Together Against Rape—here in Anchorage than ever before.

From January to November 2018, we have had a total of 2,392 crisis line calls. Compare that to the entire calendar year of 2017, which had a total of 1,958 calls from January to December of 2017.

STAR staff says they believe this is due to recent events.

"We saw major increase around the time of the Kavanaugh hearings," said STAR Executive Director Keeley Olson. "Having someone come forward who said that this happened many decades ago and she never reported. I think the response from a lot of people throughout the nation was, 'Well if it really happened, she would have called the police.' I think that prompted a lot of individuals to say that actually that the norm is not reporting and ill let you know my story."

In response, STAR is expanding its services while inviting the community to the office for a look inside operations.

"We want to make sure we are accessible as we can be and to make sure our doors are open and we are accommodating and there are a lot of different ways people might reach out for assistance," said Olson. "Some people might feel more comfortable doing it online and some people might feel more comfortable in person, so we just want to open our doors and make sure that is available for them."

The new support groups can be done in person and online.

In-person groups will be held Tuesdays from 6–7:30 p.m. in the downstairs conference room at 1057 West Fireweed Ln.

Online support groups start this week on Thursdays at 3 p.m.

Similar to Coffee with a Cop, STAR is also starting drop in coffee chats for anyone to attend.

"We are excited to present new opportunities to learn more about STAR and the resources available to individuals and families. People can learn more about available resources and how they can be of help or offer support," said Olsen.

You'll be able to learn more about what the non-profit does, and the programs it has to offer at STAR's website.

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