Proos raising awareness of new sexual assault hotline

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is reminding Southwest Michigan residents that a new confidential, 24-hour sexual assault hotline is up and running to provide crisis support and referrals to survivors and their friends and family.

“Sexual assault is a horrific crime that can leave long-lasting emotional and physical scars,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “It is critical that all sexual assault survivors have access to the resources they need to heal and have a safe and confidential place to turn to for support. As we continue to work to prevent sexual assaults, we must create an environment where survivors feel free to reach out for help and start the healing process.”

Residents can call the hotline at 1-855-VOICES4.

The hotline is staffed with professional crisis counselors who specialize in crisis intervention, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, victim’s rights, health options and Michigan law. If survivors need additional assistance, the staff can help connect them with local programs that offer counseling, advocacy and support.

Calls are not time limited, and a survivor may call the hotline as many times as needed.

Proos said it is important to note that the hotline is not intended for reporting sexual assaults to law enforcement. Those who wish to file a police report about a sexual assault should call 911 or their local law enforcement.

“Survivors of sexual assault should never feel alone or embarrassed; there are highly trained, supportive professionals who care about them and are ready to listen and help them at any time during their healing journey,” Proos said. “This 24-hour hotline is an important service to provide survivors with counseling and support that can make a world of difference.”