Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and First Lady Sue Snyder announced Friday plans for a new 24-hour statewide hotline for sexual assault survivors to call for help, counseling, and resources.
“It’s critically important that all survivors of sexual assault have somewhere safe to turn for help,” Sue Snyder said in a press release. “This hotline will connect survivors with a caring, trained professional who can help provide them with the immediate and long-term support they need to begin their journey toward healing.”
The announcement comes just a few days after Michigan State University reached a $500 million dollar settlement with the more than 300 survivors of sexual assault by Larry Nassar. The former MSU sports doctor is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on child pornography charges. He was sentenced to an additional 40 to 175 years for sexual assault charges in state court this January.
The state hotline will be confidential and anonymous, providing 24-hour, toll-free support via trained counselors and sexual assault service providers. The Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board will lead, advise, and fund the hotline. Day-to-day operations will be run by the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“This is an important opportunity to provide comprehensive, statewide crisis intervention to survivors of sexual assault, and work to make sure survivors are given the dignity and respect to which they are entitled,” said Sarah Prout Rennie, executive director of the coalition.
The hotline number and launch date will be announced in the coming weeks.