Puerto Rico police installs confidential hotline for sexual assault victims
SAN JUAN – Police Superintendent José Caldero López inaugurated Tuesday the Counseling Line for Victims of Sexual Assault.
The hotline, 787-343-0000, guides and refers alleged cases related to any sexual assault offense. The service, free of charge, will be available 24/7 and it will be operated by agents specialized in the Sexual Crimes Division.
“With the creation of this line, we reiterate the agency’s public policy in incorporating initial response protocol in the report of any sexual offense, including interaction with victims, interviews, and evidence gathering,” Caldero López said.
He added that the Puerto Rico Police Department “has the primary interest in assisting and protecting the victim, as well as identifying and processing the aggressor.”
The police chief stressed it is imperative for members who respond and intervene in cases of sexual offence to consider all of the factors that arise in these traumatic situations, and to be sensitive [to the victim’s plight] in every moment.
“Every victim of any sexual offense must be attended with dignity and respect. Their privacy must be safeguarded in strict confidentiality and they must always be instructed about orientation and guidance services to attend their needs,” he said.
All personnel working on the confidential line received training to attend the victims during the process.
The Rape Victims Help Center was one of the resources that participated in said training. The Family Department and the Women’s Advocate Office also made contributions to create the hotline.