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Government & Politics

Toll-free Helpline Offers More Services for Rape Survivors in Ohio

Photo of sexual violence hotline conference
ANDY CHOW
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence now have a free way to talk to a trained advisor any time of day and from anywhere in Ohio.

The statewide toll-free helpline got a $1.2 million grant from the state and will be operated by OhioHealth, a network of hospitals in central Ohio. 

Adrienne Estes is a rape survivor who’s been an advocate for victim services for years. She says the 24/7 component to the helpline is vital. 

“You can’t choose when you’re going to have a crises," Estes said.  "For me it was always like at 4 in the morning; you didn’t want to call your best friend, you didn’t want to wake your mom up and you needed to talk to someone right then and there. And knowing that there was that number to call was super helpful.”

Backers say the helpline isn’t just about reporting an assault but handling physical or emotional issues that come up in the long-term. 

The number for the toll-free helpline is 844-OHIO-HELP. That’s 844-644-6435.