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Low numbers for sexual assault reports in Texas

Those with the SAFE Alliance said only about 9 percent of people in Texas report sexual assaults to law enforcement. An even smaller number actually gets medical help.

AUSTIN, Texas — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, meaning people are encouraged to take a minute and think about the crime in our communities.

It's not an easy topic to talk about, which is just one reason why Juliana Gonzales, with The SAFE Alliance, said sexual assault is under reported. 

"So in Texas, only about 9 percent of sexual assault survivors report their sexual assault to law enforcement. Most people talk about their sexual assault to friends or family," said Gonzales. "Even among those 9 percent who report to law enforcement, only 3.5 percent of survivors go to get an exam ... from a sexual assault nurse examiner."

RELATED: Texas Senate passes bill increasing sexual assault reporting requirements for universities

Gonzales said Travis County is unique because of the resources provided to the community, like the Eloise House

"We have a special clinic that’s only for sexual assault survivors, and they can come 24 hours a day, seven days a week and get a nurse exam, which includes medical care and evidence collection, if that’s what the survivor wants," said Gonzales. 

RELATED: Texas could create 'new' crime for people who grope, touch without permission

She said, in most communities, a sexual assault survivor would have to go to an emergency room or call 911 to get law enforcement's help. 

"It’s because there are very few sexual assault nurse examiners in the state of Texas. We’re a huge state. We’re 254 counties and very few counties have appropriate levels of coverage for SANE nurses," said Gonzales. 

RELATED: Tests on backlogged rape kits leads to 186 new arrests

SAFE also has a 24/7 confidential SAFEline that's available for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse.

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