Ohio launches new helpline for sexual, relationship violence

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Advocates at a new, statewide helpline for victims of sexual and relationship violence are now taking calls.

Attorney General Mike DeWine joined the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio to announce the initiative Friday in suburban Columbus.

The network is a sexual violence intervention and prevention program serving Franklin County. It is operating the helpline, which is funded with a $1.2 million grant provided by DeWine’s office.

Ohioans can call the helpline at 1-844-OHIO-HELP. It’s staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week by advocates who are trained in safety planning and crises intervention. They can direct victims to local resources, offer confidential support and provide recovery books and emergency door and window locks.

The helpline doesn’t replace others currently in operation elsewhere in the state.