Attorney General DeWine, OhioHealth Launch Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline
April 8, 2016 - 12:13 PM
DUBLIN — As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Ohio
Attorney General Mike DeWine and Heather Herron Murphy, manager of
OhioHealth's Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO),
today announced the launch of a new helpline serving survivors of sexual
assault and relationship violence across the state.
Advocates with the Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline at 1-844-OHIO-HELP
(1-844-644-6435) began taking calls this morning. The new helpline,
which is the first confidential, statewide hotline dedicated to serving
survivors of sexual assault in Ohio, is staffed by SARNCO 24-hours a
day, seven days a week and is open to all callers living anywhere in the
"Sexual assault is an under-reported crime, in part because those who
have been assaulted don't always know who to call for confidential
support, and in some parts of Ohio, there is no one locally who they can
call at all," said Attorney General DeWine during a news conference
this morning at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital. "Now, thanks to
this new helpline, no matter who you are, and no matter where you live,
advocates will be available 24/7 to direct sexual assault survivors to
local resources or just listen and provide comfort."
"Today, numerous advocacy programs provide support to survivors of
sexual assault in Ohio," said Murphy. "But despite these remarkable
efforts, there are still areas across the state that do not have 24-hour
access to confidential sexual violence advocacy, support and resources.
The Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline aims to fill in those gaps, and to
support existing services by connecting survivors in their counties to
their local resources."
The Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline will act as the primary helpline for
residents living in counties without a local 24-hour helpline and will
work in collaboration with, not in place of, hotlines that are currently
in operation elsewhere in the state.
More than a dozen advocates, who are trained in safety planning, crises
intervention, and basic coping skills, will staff the helpline and
provide callers with support and information on local community
resources. Advocates can also provide recovery books and emergency door
and window locks to those who need them.
The helpline is funded by a $1.2 million grant that Attorney General
DeWine awarded OhioHealth as part of the "Ohio Attorney General's
Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative." The initiative
aims to fund new programs in Ohio that will empower survivors to
overcome their victimization.
According to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, there were at least 4,640 rapes reported statewide in 2014.
A video with additional information on the new helpline is available here.
More information on OhioHealth, a nationally recognized,
not-for-profit, charitable healthcare organization with Methodist roots
based in Columbus, can be found on their website at www.ohiohealth.com.
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