Bill would reauthorize grants for sexual assault hotline

July 3, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire has introduced a bill to reauthorize federal grants for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Kuster, a Democrat, said the hotline’s call volume reached a “staggering record high” last year. The hotline is operated by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

Scott Berkowitz, president of the network, said since March 2020, as the pandemic led to stay-at-home orders, the majority of victims receiving help from our online hotline have been minors. He said the reauthorization will help meet the increased demand.

Kuster introduced the bill with U.S. Rep. David Joyce, a Republican from Ohio. Kuster and Joyce are two of the founding co-chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, which works to raise awareness and propose solutions to the challenges posed by sexual assault and violence.

The 24-hour hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).