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Tuesday, April 18, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 135

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HPD, HAWC join to stop sexual assault

By Romina Kim
Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Police Department and the Houston Area Women's Center have joined forces to create a new rape awareness campaign designed to reduce crime and increase awareness of sexual assault.

"Through education, we will work together to provide resources for survivors and to increase the reporting of sexual and family violence to law enforcement officials," said Houston Police Chief C.O. Bradford.

Several portions of the campaign have already been set in motion. HPD's Sex Crimes Unit, in conjunction with the Houston Area Women's Center, offered a four-hour in-service training class on sexual assault in January, its first of the year.

Ellen Cohen, president and CEO of the Women's Center, said she is excited about the initiative.

"We are pleased to be working with HPD to reduce family violence and sexual assault in our city," she said.

Cohen said she believes the partnership will help create awareness about violence, provide victims with better access to resources and survivors, and lead to more accurate reporting to law officials.

Another resource is a Web site, www.HoustonSafetyNet.org, which includes information regarding violence and rape prevention, and helpful links and phone numbers where victims and survivors can get information and help.

HPD will also equip its officers to deal with sexual assault by requiring new cadets at the police academy to take six hours of sexual assault investigation training.

The department will also help the Houston Independent School District make sexual assault awareness presentations, and the HPD Community Outreach Division will act as a liaison to churches, civic organizations and businesses.
 
 

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