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The Santa Ramona Chronicles

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Sheriff's Department start their ‘Make the Call’ campaign

There can be very few people who have not seen the posters around Santa Ramona Valley declaring “Sex without Consent is Rape”. The posters have been put up by the Santa Ramona Sheriff’s Department as part of their “Make the Call” Campaign against sexual violence. The posters advertise a phone number – 1-888-Sex-Stop – that anyone can call to report sexual violence. Under Sheriff Azaraiah Brentt spoke to the Santa Ramona Chronicles about the campaign. “One of the crimes we have the least success in bringing to justice is rape” he explained. The context is an increase in sexual crime in Santa Ramona Valley over the last eighteen months, much of it committed by young men who do not realize that what they are doing is rape. The Sheriff’s Department hope that, as result of this campaign, they will make people aware of what constitutes rape and sexual assault, and be able to reach out to the victims. So often these victims, for whatever reason, don’t come forward. The first the SRSD know about the assault is when they are called to deal with a retaliation, often years later. Under Sheriff Brentt pointed out that it is not only women who are raped and that the problem is huge. It is estimated that there are 9.4 million survivors of sexual violence of all genders in California alone. People should not, he went on, have to live with the devastating effects of sexual violence The SRSD campaign is not confined to putting up posters. The campaign has been some months in the planning and an infrastructure has been created to support it. They are working with local radio station 100.3 KSRV to broadcast public service announcements, and are planning to go into colleges and high schools. In support of the campaign Sheriff Jade Ramirez will be teaching monthly self-defense classes, and trainers have come from San Diego to give special training to Santa Ramona deputies. These deputies will respond to calls on the dedicated Sex Stop phone line and would then assist with the process of transporting the person to hospital for tests and offer protection for reprisals. The phone number to call is 1-888-Sex-Stop.

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