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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 149-04
March 04, 2004

DoD Establishes Additional Sexual Assault Hot Line

The Department of Defense announced today that an additional toll-free telephone number has been established for individuals who want to contact or provide information to the Department of Defense Task Force on Care for Victims of Sexual Assault. The number, (800) 497-6261, is staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. The departments hot line will supplement those previously established by each of the services.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this month ordered a senior-level inquiry into the reported sexual assaults in Iraq and Kuwait, and how the armed services treat victims of sexual assault. The Army and Air Force have opened similar investigations.

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness David S.C. Chu said that the findings of the 90-day review are due by April 30th.

Every servicemember deserves to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity, Chu said. Sexual assault is criminal conduct and will not be tolerated in the Department of Defense.

Chu believes the information from the call center will assist the task force and defense officials in developing policies and programs to improve assistance for victims of assaults and enhance efforts at prevention.

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