The first installment of last year’s Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” accomplished what decades of reporting, legal action and often-overlooked public outcry did not: New charges and incarceration for the singer, who has had dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him over the past 25 years.
While Kelly awaits trial — on multiple charges in three states — in a jail outside Chicago, “Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning,” which brings forward even more accusers and recaps the events of the past year, aired on Lifetime in three episodes on Jan. 2-4 — and brought a 40% increase in calls to RAINN’s national sexual assault hotline (800-656-4673), according to a statement from the organization and the network. RAINN, (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
“The Friday and Saturday after ‘Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning’ aired, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline experienced a 40% increase in calls,” said the organization’s press secretary, Erinn Robinson. “We are proud to have partnered with Lifetime on this project and are encouraged that our work with the media continues to empower survivors of sexual violence to seek the help that they need to heal.”
“We are so thankful for our partnership with RAINN as part of our Stop Violence Against Women Initiative and to see the jump in calls during the airings of Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning,” said Brie Miranda Bryant, SVP, Unscripted Programing, Lifetime. “It’s amazing to know the documentary has encouraged important and necessary conversations to happen and we are extremely proud of our survivors for their courage, who by standing up for themselves, stand for so much more.”
At a screening and discussion panel of “Surviving R. Kelly Part II” last month, RAINN’s Clara Kim said the organization’s call volume rose an unprecedented 20% in the full week after the first series aired.