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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Gov. Whitmer announces texting hotline for sexual assault survivors to receive 24/7 support

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2019 at 11:04 AM

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Sexual assault survivors in Michigan now have more options when receiving anonymous counseling support thanks to a new hotline feature.

As part of the fifth annual “Let's End Campus Sexual Assault” summit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that Michigan's 855-VOICES4 sexual assault hotline will now offer a texting option for sexual assault survivors, as well as their friends and family, who can get confidential counseling support by texting 1-866-238-1454.

“This texting feature is an important way to make sure every survivor in Michigan has direct access to the support and resources they deserve,” Gov. Whitmer said in a press release. “I want every survivor in our state to know that your voice and your story matter, and when you’re ready to talk, we’re ready to listen.”

Like the hotline, which was launched under Gov. Rick Snyder in 2018, the texting feature is available 24/7 and is free and confidential. What is shared through the hotline services is not reported to law enforcement. Per the program's website, which also offers legal, health, and additional abuse-related resources, the hotline is available regardless of when the abuse occurred. Whether it was “four hours or 40 years ago,” immediate crisis counseling and referrals are offered to anyone who calls or texts, judgment-free.

In 2013, the then-Senator Whitmer revealed she had been sexually assaulted as a freshman at Michigan State University while arguing against a "rape insurance" measure that would require women to purchase a separate insurance rider to cover abortions, even in instances of rape or incest.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, call 1-855-VOICES4 (1-855-864-2374) or text 1-866-238-1454 to receive 24/7, free, anonymous, and confidential counseling support.

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