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News : University Announces 24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline
Las Vegas, NV, USA, March 3, 2015 -- The University of Nevada is taking sexual assault seriously. This week officials at UNR announced a 24 hour hotline designed to support victims of sexual assault or sexual misconduct-- who might not otherwise make a report.
"This hotline is available 24 hours a day so everyone from the campus community can anonymously contact this hotline and report sexual assault or sexual misconduct that has occurred on or off campus," explained Denise Cordova, who heads up the university's Title IX office.
Students were notified of the new number by e-mail. Sophomore Samantha Lanz says the hotline will make a difference. "If you can go to a 24-hour hotline and explain to someone what happened to you, it'll validate your feelings and help you get through that traumatizing event," she said.
University officials say inappropriate sexual behavior can take many forms. "Groping, inappropriate touching; hugging, if someone doesn't want to be hugged; something that is unwanted," said Cordova.
And students don't always feel comfortable coming forward. Senior Matt Bowman says it can be intimidating to talk about sexual assault. "I feel like there's reluctance with talking to people and having a social stigma attached to it. But I feel like this will actually help people be able to seek resources while being more comfortable," Bowman said.
Students who call the hotline can do more than leave a report. "We have a referral system, where if you press one, it takes you to the Crisis Call center so it makes it available to talk to someone immediately," said Cordova. Students are also encouraged to call 911 and make a police report. But not everyone calls the police. The hotline is another tool for people who want to report unwanted incidents. "I think that's what the university really wants to do, is to let people know that we're here and we can assist them," Cordova said.
The hotline number is: 775-784-1030
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2015