Texas survivors of sexual assault now have a new statewide toll-free number [1-844-303-7233 (SAFE)] to get in touch with legal aid organizations for potential representation.

The hotline was created as part of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s new program: Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault.

The LASSA Network will serve every Texas county, providing survivors of sexual assault who qualify for legal aid with a wide range of free legal services from general advice to direct representation in civil legal matters stemming from the sexual assault. According to a news release on the program, assault survivors’ legal problems can include privacy violations, physical safety threats, school accommodations, and employment sanctions as well as financial and housing problems.

The initiative was made possible through $10 million in funding from the 84thSession of the Texas Legislature for the 2015-2017 biennium which is to be distributed by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation to grantees across the state, according to the release.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Statistics from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault show one in five women and one in 20 men in Texas have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. More than 90 percent of individuals who have been sexually assaulted did not report the crime to law enforcement.

For more information on the LASSA Network, please call 1-844-303-7233 (SAFE) or visit LASSA’s web page. Watch a public service announcement about LASSA featuring Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.