Tuesday, June 2, 2020

MDHHS sexual assault resources remain available during COVID-19 pandemic

April 9, 2020
<p>Olin Health Center photographed on Feb. 27, 2020.</p>

Olin Health Center photographed on Feb. 27, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced counseling, advocacy and resources for sexual assault survivors will remain accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, or MDHHS.

This announcement surrounds April as National Sexual Assault Awareness month.

“Providing support for Michigan’s survivors of sexual assault is an essential service that remains in place during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Whitmer said. “It’s important to make sure that survivors are aware of these resources — in April and throughout the year.”

The Michigan sexual assault hotline, which can be reached at 855-864-2374, will continue to provide around the clock, free, confidential and anonymous services to sexual assault survivors, as well as their family and friends.

Last year, Whitmer announced survivors would be able to text 866-238-1454 to receive counseling support.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is committed to easy access to resources for any Michigander who is a survivor of sexual assault,” Executive Director of the MDHHS Division of Victim Services Debi Cain said. “This hotline is a critical resource for any survivor in Michigan who needs a safe person to talk to, no matter the time, day or night.”

The national campaign surrounding Sexual Assault Awareness month focuses on raising public awareness about sexual assault and educating communities on prevention. National statistics show that one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the statement from MDHHS.

Attorney General Dana Nessel took to Twitter to spread awareness of the continued resources.

MDHHS also offers additional resources such as information about sexual assault and abuse, health options, legal rights and how to help a survivor.

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