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NYPD Launches Campaign to Encourage Sex Crime Reporting

April 6, 2018

"The Call is Yours" Campaign aims to improve reporting on sex crimes, aiding investigations and arrests of suspects

The NYPD is launching "The Call Is Yours" campaign to encourage survivors of crime to report incidents to the police. Reporting to the police can bring the perpetrator to justice, prevent future assaults, and connect survivors with important resources. Better reporting of crime, and in this case sex crime, also helps law enforcement better deploy officers, investigate serial criminals, and more quickly arrest those responsible for carrying out attacks. Anyone who is a sexual assault survivor is encouraged to call 911 or the NYPD Special Victims Division's 24 hour hotline at 212-267-Rape (7273).

The campaign began on April 2, 2018, and will be promoted throughout the spring of 2018 in broadcast media, taxi cabs, subways, buses and social media platforms. To date, there have been more than 400,000 unique impressions in paid advertising have appeared on social media.

Survivors of sex crimes are often victimized twice. Once by their attackers and another by the stigma of shame and fear which often discourages them from reporting their assaults to police. The NYPD aims to break this cycle of violence and silence by providing a line of communication where victims and witnesses can safely report these crimes.

"For four years we have encourage survivors of sexual assaults to reach out to us. This campaign is our latest step in that effort and will reach millions of New Yorkers with that message," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "We will investigate every single report."

"We hope this campaign reinforces to survivors of sexual assaults that the choice to report is theirs," said Deputy Commissioner Susan Herman. "And of course we hope they choose to report."

A nationwide 2016 Department of Justice study indicates in that over 70% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. A Centers for Disease Control national survey on intimate partner and sexual violence found that over 18% of women reported having been raped in their lifetimes.

"The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault supports the New York City Police Department's efforts to reach survivors impacted by sexual violence through this outreach campaign," said Mary Haviland, Esquire, Executive Director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. "Every survivor of sexual violence in New York City deserves law enforcement assistance that offers options for justice, options for safety and connects survivors to the network of services available to them. The campaign sends a strong message that the NYPD is ready and willing to assist. Know that there is a community of service providers that stands with them, committed to reducing the harm of sexual violence and striving to prevent it in the future."

"I commend the NYPD for this effort to reach out to survivors of sexual assault and encourage them to report the crime to NYPD," said the Honorable Judy H. Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families. "We know that talking about a sexual assault is often as painful as the attack itself, but reporting a crime is the first step to bringing a perpetrator to justice. Victims need to know there is a network of caring and experienced professionals, like Sanctuary for Families, who can help you overcome the trauma. ‘The Call Is Yours' is a powerful reminder that help is available."

"It's great that the campaign focuses on victim choice and will connect New Yorkers with police investigations and victim services," said Michael Polenberg, Co-Chair of the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims.

"Most survivors of sexual assault want to stop the perpetrator from harming someone else. This campaign reminds survivors that calling the police can help do just that," said Susan Xenarios, LCSW, founder and former director of the Crime Victim Treatment Center and the former co-chair of the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, and former co-chair of the Manhattan Sexual Assault Task Force.

Campaign artwork and infographics will be available through the office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information.