City launches new resources to help sex assault victims
April 27, 2018 06:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – From celebrities to politicians and the #MeToo movement, outcry against sexual assault is dominating the national discourse.
“I think the #MeToo movement is helping to potentially minimize some of that stigma that's attached,” said Teresa D’Anza, director of Albuquerque SANE. “I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight, next month, even next year. But we're hopeful that these movements will help people understand there is value.”
On a yearly basis they have about 500 people reporting assault, accounting for only an estimated 20 percent of all incidents.
“At Albuquerque SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) we’ve seen a small increase in the number of survivors we're providing services to,” D’Anza said. “I can’t say it’s a response to that.”
Albuquerque SANE is now teaming up with the city to try and tackle its roughly 4,000 untested rape kits. An Albuquerque Sexual Assault Evidence Response Team has been created to tackle that issue.
One way they are helping victims at this time is by launching a new information line. As these kits are tested, people can call the information line at 1-866-613-SAIL (7245) for the status of their kit.
Mayor Tim Keller said the information line will be staffed by compassionate victim center employees.
"This is not just a phone line in to like the laboratory," he said. "That's very important because each case is unique, and each individual has unique perspective and desire with respect to what happens to that kit."
Keller added he hopes to have the rape kit backlog cleared up by the end of 2020.
Updated: April 27, 2018 06:14 PM
Created: April 25, 2018 05:40 PM
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