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New NYPD drive encourages sexual assault victims to come forward

The police department is posting messages in subways, taxis and buses to let victims know they can call 911 or the NYPD special victims unit to make a report.

The NYPD's new

The NYPD's new "The Call is Yours" campaign features messages in subways, taxis and buses to let sexual assault victims know they can call 911 or the NYPD special victims unit to make a report. Photo Credit: NYPD via Twitter

The NYPD on Friday kicked off a new public campaign to encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward with their complaints.

The police department will post messages about "The Call Is Yours" campaign in subways, taxis and buses to let victims know they can call 911 or the NYPD special victims unit to make a report. Messages will be in English and Spanish, with other languages soon to be added, said Susan Herman, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for collaborative policing.

“In this climate where victims of sexual assault across the country are thinking about events and crimes that occurred to them in the past and are wondering whether to report or not, we want them to know we are open for business," said Herman at a Friday news conference to announce the campaign. "No crime is too far in the past. Every single one will be investigated."

“The choice is always the survivors choice and that is the emphasis of this message, the call is yours,” Herman added.

The effort to encourage victims comes shortly after the NYPD was criticized by a Department of Investigation report that said the police special victims unit had an inordinately large caseload and couldn’t do justice to victims in all cases. The NYPD pushed back at the report, criticizing the document because no high-ranked commanders were spoken to.

Chief Dermot Shea said in recent months the NYPD had seen a surge in rape complaints that date as far back as two decades. Although they occurred in earlier years, those complaints are carried in crime statistics for the year reports were made.

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