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Source: ESPN issues "do not report" alert on Roethlisberger story

We probably should be glad that ESPN has opted not to acknowledge the sexual assault civil lawsuit filed against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  Since their audience won’t get any information about the story from ESPN, maybe a nice chunk of their audience will come here for it.

And maybe they won’t go back.

Though we still don’t know precisely why ESPN hasn’t acknowledged the existence of the lawsuit, we know a lot more about the “how”.

A media source tells us that, late last night, ESPN issued a “do not report” memo to all of its outlets and reporters.  The directive came without explanation.  “Even some of the reporters are wondering why,” the source said, “but haven’t been told.”

The same strategy was employed last year, in response to Jay Glazer’s report regarding Brett Favre’s alleged efforts to help the Lions beat the Packers. 

As we reported at the time, the memo said the following:  “WE HAVE BEEN TOLD BY RELIABLE SOURCES THIS REPORT IS NOT TRUE.  We did
NOT report it yesterday.  Today, the NFL responded to the report,
saying even if Favre did this he did not break any league rules.  We
are NOT reporting it today, because that would mean airing the
erroneous report.  DO NOT REPORT IT.”

This time around, ESPN can’t claim that the report of a civil suit alleging sexual assault isn’t true.  Clearly, it is; Roethlisberger has hired attorney David Cornwell, who has denied the allegations in a statement initially sent to us, and then sent to other media outlets.  And we’ve seen, and reported on, the contents of the complaint.

So in the absence of a legitimate reason from ESPN, we assume that there’s some other agenda at play here.

If nothing else, it gives Don Ohlmeyer plenty of fodder for his initial ombudsman column.

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71 Responses to “Source: ESPN issues "do not report" alert on Roethlisberger story”
  1. darkchild says: Jul 21, 2009 1:33 PM

    LOL@ your source being Jemele Hill’s twitter page.
    Get off your ass and go do some actual reporting instead of trolling the internet for items to report on. Douche.

  2. rodstiffington says: Jul 21, 2009 1:34 PM

    But I put out a “PLEASE F*CK*NG REPORT” on the Erin Andrews video.

  3. Sportygal says: Jul 21, 2009 1:35 PM

    I watch NFL Network for my NFL news on TV. Too bad Adam Schefter is going to ESPN.

  4. penguininbondage says: Jul 21, 2009 1:35 PM

    Just civil? Where’s the criminal complaint? Suspend him too!

  5. The Coop says: Jul 21, 2009 1:36 PM

    Exactly. The FACT that a civil complaint has been filed is not up for debate.
    Maybe they don’t have enough time to report on this story in between Greeny and Mayne’s stupid “Fan Cafe” segments and plugging ESPY re-runs.
    ESPN makes me want to vomit.

  6. hayward giablommi says: Jul 21, 2009 1:36 PM

    Why would they report it?
    I mean, even if an unnamed, unverifiable sourse has some juicy but completely unsubstantiated dirt to drag up, why would they do it now?
    Everyone knows, and ESPN memos will probably confirm, that such news can ONLY be reported immediately before a Super Bowl, preferably, when a team playing in said Super Bowl is undefeated and trying to cap off the greatest season of all time.

  7. forthnoggin says: Jul 21, 2009 1:38 PM

    And let the war between ESPN and PFT continue…
    Surely, ESPN will try to undermine PFT’s credibility when they are finally forced to explain why they aren’t reporting this news story.

  8. endzoneview says: Jul 21, 2009 1:39 PM

    The only thing I can think of is Roethlisberger is featured in the first episode of Shaq’s new reality show, premiering on ABC in August.
    I doubt that’s the reason, but who knows.

  9. darkchild says: Jul 21, 2009 1:39 PM

    They can report on Chad OchoCinco’s twitter habits, Steve McNair’s blood alcohol level and T.O’s reality show, but not Big Ben’s Rape accusation.
    This won’t be good PR for the World wide leader in SPorts.

  10. dldove77 says: Jul 21, 2009 1:42 PM

    ESPN sucks.

  11. patsSB44champs says: Jul 21, 2009 1:42 PM

    They don’t want any stories to deflect attention away from the Brett Favre soap opera.
    Seriously, this stuff from ESPN about a lack of credible sources is complete BS. Ask any Pats fan, who had to sit and watch as ESPN send out “investigative reporters” to speculate and speculate and speculate about the tapes that Matt Walsh supposedly had. Then the tapes came out, and it turned out that this was Geraldo and Al Capone’s vault all over again. Of course, Cris Carter and Mark Schlereth gladly took the opportunity to trash the Patriots in every way possible AFTER Roger Goodell came out and said that Walsh had presented the league with nothing new.
    This was all retribution because Belichick never says anything compelling to the media.
    They had no real proof about the “walkthrough tape” other than John Tomase’s ghost story in the Boston Herald, which of course proved to be false. And yet ESPN continued to pound away anyway.
    The only positive thing about this (for me anyway) is that Bill Belichick has been stewing over this ever since Spygate took place. Mark my words, he wants revenge for the way his team has been treated since then. He came within 35 seconds of it in the Super Bowl and then had to put it on hold for another year when Tom Brady went down. Now that Brady’s healthy, Belichick and the Pats are ready to roll.
    Oh, he’ll never say it, of course. But mark my words, the man is out for blood this year, and there is no more dangerous team in sports than a motivated Patriots team.

  12. Hong Kong Phooey says: Jul 21, 2009 1:43 PM

    I would have to question whether or not Keith Norfleet is involved in this.

  13. empty13 says: Jul 21, 2009 1:44 PM

    do not report what? roethlisberger was sued… or why roethlisberger was sued…
    i think i know but…

  14. fay says: Jul 21, 2009 1:44 PM

    This IS strange. Didnt Jerome Bettis have false allegations lobbed his way a few years ago? THOSE were reported, why not these?
    The Steelers DO travel with their own Refs, so Iam sure they have judges in their back pocket as well.

  15. virtueandvice says: Jul 21, 2009 1:45 PM

    It’s a waste of time to report on civil cases. People get sued in civil court all the time over all sorts of crap. If the Las Vegas police and District Attorney do not feel there is enough evidence to charge Ben with sexual assault, then it’s not worth wasting time on. Move on and tell us how much Ben had to fork over when it settles out of court.

  16. Run1out says: Jul 21, 2009 1:45 PM

    Who goes to ESPN anyhow? I have gone there maybe 5 times in two years. Who changed my username Florio? Thats incredible! My name was bad but you let (Fucter N. Haddasandwhich) go by huh? What gives?

  17. Real Football Fan says: Jul 21, 2009 1:46 PM

    BSPN continues to undermine their credibility. From the pathetic slurpfest most of their broadcasters engage in with the athletes their supposed to be covering to the overall shitty product in all outlets, I think a change in approach is long overdue.

  18. mdolfin says: Jul 21, 2009 1:46 PM

    Does this mean that Brett Favre will delay his inevitable announcement of his return to the NFL? We all know Brett loves the spotlight. Does the Roethlisberger case detract from the headlines Brett’s return will create? Or, is ESPN holding off on this story to allow SportsCenter to be ABATT — All Brett, All The Time?
    (And you all thought a day could pass without a Favre reference. Oops!)

  19. Jeff says: Jul 21, 2009 1:49 PM

    There was a story this morning on the sports page talking about how Big Ben is one of the stars appearing on Shaq’s new ABC reality series.
    Does anyone think the two are related? I sure as hell do.
    Hey Florio, I would enjoy your take on this little tidbit of information. ESPN ignoring the big story, and the big story will be on a Disney reality show.

  20. Steeler says: Jul 21, 2009 1:49 PM

    ESPN looks pretty dubious here.
    On another note, I truly hope this is just a money grab with no standing in reality. Lord help him (and the Steelers offense) if there’s truth to the allegations.

  21. nyjetgurl83 says: Jul 21, 2009 1:50 PM

    Anybody can sue anybody these days…..
    If he was arrested, and they didn’t report then….then i may sorta see the hype….

  22. The Coop says: Jul 21, 2009 1:51 PM

    This story has been picked up by the Associated Press, USA Today, and other highly credible media outlets….. and yet, not ESPN?
    They are an embarrassment to themselves.

  23. Roethlisberger's Bitch Tits says: Jul 21, 2009 1:51 PM

    Screw ESPN I love hearing about myself…..

  24. Ravens Fan says: Jul 21, 2009 1:53 PM

    Rothishomo promised ESPN a helmet cam reality show everytime he gets on his motorcycle.
    Can’t wait for the suspension to come next.

  25. patsSB44champs says: Jul 21, 2009 1:54 PM

    I’d like to add that frankly, if in fact ESPN is doing this because Big Ben is going to be on Shaq’s reality show on ABC, then it is a complete and utter insult to their viewers. They are acting as if they really think we don’t know that Big Ben is embroiled in an embarrassing situation. I promise you, the vast majority of the folks who watch this show on ABC next month will be folks who watch the NFL every Sunday and obsess about it from Monday to Sunday.

  26. EskinSux says: Jul 21, 2009 1:55 PM

    ESPN radio is reporting it on the update segments as a report from the AP……

  27. Run1out says: Jul 21, 2009 1:56 PM

    ESPN doesn’t acknowledge the story because they weren’t the first to report it! Thats the only reason. They are like a little child. Rub1out!!!

  28. birdwyer says: Jul 21, 2009 1:58 PM

    ESPN IS reporting it:
    “Status Alert
    Roethlisberger (knee) has been accused of sexually assaulting a Nevada hotel employee, the Pittsburgh Channel reports. (Jul 20)”
    Some newsbot must not have gotten the memo.

  29. foosmom says: Jul 21, 2009 2:03 PM

    Florio, since linking up with NBC you are missing the real sports stories. People magazine is reporting Marc Anthony bought a share in the Dolphins–where’s that headline?

  30. goose08 says: Jul 21, 2009 2:03 PM
    They are at least acknowledging it on his player page under “status alert”

  31. Travis says: Jul 21, 2009 2:04 PM

    Can you reveal your source concerning ESPN’s “Do not report” alert?

  32. ZombieRevolution says: Jul 21, 2009 2:04 PM

    As you point out in an earlier piece, since we do not know your source we cannot judge the validity of their account. “A media source tells us that, late last night, ESPN issued a “do not report” memo to all of its outlets and reporters. ”
    Once again you attack something without providing crediable proof. Given the biased nature of this site and often poor journalism of its head writer/editor, its hard to believe what is reproted.
    Attack ESPN- its good for ratings. Have you actually called someone from ESPN (who will give a name) and gotten their explanation? Too often Florio does as little as possible to get a story.

  33. idunno says: Jul 21, 2009 2:06 PM

    ESPN is terrible. the website is terrible. is much better. is much better.
    So they KNEW Childress was flying to Mississippi (he never did) and ran with that story.
    They only need to report that the civil suit happened…they don’t need to opine on it.
    Maybe ESPN should do a Mt. Rushmore of incorrect stories.

  34. realityonetwo says: Jul 21, 2009 2:07 PM

    endzoneview says:
    July 21, 2009 1:39 PM
    The only thing I can think of is Roethlisberger is featured in the first episode of Shaq’s new reality show, premiering on ABC in August.
    I doubt that’s the reason, but who knows.
    I don’t doubt that reason for one millisecond, endzoneview…

  35. Samuel L. Bronkowitz says: Jul 21, 2009 2:07 PM

    ESPN – the first letter means “Entertainment”, the second letter means “Sports” — which tells us where their priorities lie.
    There’s no “J” in the acronym, so don’t expect “Journalism” (unless it’s Pedro Gomez making a secret shower tape of Barry Bonds)

  36. emoser says: Jul 21, 2009 2:08 PM

    People in Pittsburgh have no class. Must be a slow news day when you’re reporting what everyone already knows.

  37. Kidekk says: Jul 21, 2009 2:09 PM

    ESPN has its designated villains (Bobby Knight before he worked for them, Mike Vick, TO, Randy Moss, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, to name a few), and its designated heroes (Derek Jeter, Dwayne Wade, Albert Pujols, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Big Ben, Shaq, Kobe post-rape trial, Coach K, etc.). While I sometimes say that Florio tries to make a story where there is none, ESPN literally creates stories and doesn’t report the actions of one player (LT pouting, for example) while overblowing the actions of another (TO). Like Whitlock said in an article someone linked earlier, they have spread themselves too thin by covering every sport and taking personal interests in certain teams and players that eliminate all objectivity when they cover them. When you have reporters who are afraid to ask the hard questions for fear that they might offend someone and that person might not talk to them again, it’s plain to see that the line between journalistic integrity and personal relations has been crossed. I know they are running a business over there, but they need to at least try and remain impartial. And any excuse about them wanting to gather all of the facts is ridiculous because they break stories all of the time that are questionable in merit but still have concrete sources.

  38. Finnegans Wake says: Jul 21, 2009 2:12 PM

    ESPN says they have a reliable source that indicates that the story is bogus, but the reason they’re not airing it is “they like Ben” or some other such business?
    Posters here are revealing their agenda.

  39. PatsRPerfection says: Jul 21, 2009 2:12 PM

    I love the creation of the NFL Network and PFT and everywhere else I can go to get my football news and shows.
    I hate ESPN, it sucks and is tabloid garbage and I won’t go back to it, ever.
    They think they’re bigger than the sports they cover and bigger than the stories they report. They’re sense of entitlement has created tension in Foxborough where they are often shut out, which has led to an anti-Patriot agenda from the network.

  40. eeerockski says: Jul 21, 2009 2:14 PM

    Perhaps this has something to do with the deal they signed with EA Sports, which also has an exclusive deal with the NFL/NFLPA? Just a guess here, so don’t burn me at the stake!

  41. vbeach31 says: Jul 21, 2009 2:20 PM

    ESPN is horrible. They fight as well be Fox News. It’s obviously clear they have an agenda for not reporting the story. Sexual assault is a serious allegation whether Big Ben is guilty or innocent( I hope he is innocent) I think it’s more serious that dogfighting, Ochocinco’s twitters,T.O’s “spats” while in Dallas, and more serious than “spy gate”, yet it doesnt make headlines. This is crazy. If every other highly credited media outlet picked it up, why not ESPN. KOBE BRYANT for goodness sakes. This man is the best player in the NBA and when he was accused of rape, he was treated maliciously by the media, and he lost all his endorsemets. This is for a man that was innocent of rape. I dont wish those things on Big Ben or any other athlete, but the double standard is apprehensible

  42. cracker jack says: Jul 21, 2009 2:22 PM

    Randy Moss wonders why there was not a “Do Not Report” alert when that crazy lady applied for that restraining order against him..
    It couldnt be the ESPN-ABC relationship and Ben being on an ABC show, could it?

  43. Kidekk says: Jul 21, 2009 2:23 PM

    mdolfin says:
    July 21, 2009 1:46 PM
    Does this mean that Brett Favre will delay his inevitable announcement of his return to the NFL? We all know Brett loves the spotlight. Does the Roethlisberger case detract from the headlines Brett’s return will create? Or, is ESPN holding off on this story to allow SportsCenter to be ABATT — All Brett, All The Time?
    (And you all thought a day could pass without a Favre reference. Oops!)
    Actually, this just means that ESPN is probably going to “break” the story (by running it on the bottom line and saying four or five sentences on it with three or four of those sentences reiterating that these are just allegations in a dismissive tone) on the same day that Favre announces his decision/return. They’re probably calling Favre right now to make his decision earlier so they can break Ben’s news, and then bury it with non-stop Favre talk.

  44. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Jul 21, 2009 2:28 PM

    they are holding it until the day before the Steelers play another Super Bowl. Geez, florio, you should know this by now. Either that, or they ahve an exclusive lined up with Ben’s mother and don’t want to blow it by reporting bad things about Ben.

  45. TheVillain112 says: Jul 21, 2009 2:30 PM

    So ESPN can report about a player driving 106 mph in a 65 mph zone but alleged rap allegations they don’t report on?

  46. WorldChampionBears2009 says: Jul 21, 2009 2:38 PM

    What’s amazing is if this was Donovan McNabb, we’d all be talking about how much jail time he would get and when Goddell is going to suspend him. Cuz we all no black athletes would be guilty no matter what.

  47. GarthBrooks says: Jul 21, 2009 2:40 PM

    If the suit has indeed been filed, it is news that they probably should be reporting. The accuracy of the suit is a different matter.

  48. Raiders757 says: Jul 21, 2009 2:43 PM

    I really can’t buy into this crazy bitch’s claims, but if ESPN puts a “no report” on it, then it starts to make me wonder if she isn’t full of it after all.
    ESPN is so biased towards teams from the North East, and their reporting is so unprofessional, that it doesn’t surprise me they would want to brush this under the rug. If it were a QB from the Raiders, Saints, or Cowboys, you can bet they would be all over it like flies to a pile of shit.

  49. SaltyDave says: Jul 21, 2009 3:11 PM

    ESPN is about as relevant and current as using “rabbit ears” on a TV.

  50. SF Saints Fan says: Jul 21, 2009 3:18 PM

    Just saw you on Fox News (“we report you decide”) and they gave you the credit you ( deserve for breaking this story. Have you been on MSNBC yet? Oh wait, I forgot, nobody watches THAT channel.
    All in all a good interview. Keep on this story. The main thing here is did she tell anyone at the time about the alleged assault. Did she talk to friends or relatives or did she come up with this story only after it came out that she went clocktower on Big Ben?

  51. Raiders757 says: Jul 21, 2009 3:20 PM

    “I promise you, the vast majority of the folks who watch this show on ABC next month will be folks who watch the NFL every Sunday and obsess about it from Monday to Sunday.”
    I promis you that the vast majority of people that tune into that show, and anything similar in nature for that matter, have a very low IQ and our lucky they even know how to turn on the television.

  52. YoMama says: Jul 21, 2009 3:29 PM

    Yes, some of you are right. ESPN isn’t reporting it because he’s white!

  53. INFIDELPHIA says: Jul 21, 2009 3:31 PM

    ESPN hired Keith Olbermann. Need I say more? Oh wait, so do NBC, so what does that say about this website? Not much.

  54. ktornadoes says: Jul 21, 2009 3:38 PM

    If Ben was a Cincinnati Bengal this would be all over ESPN!

  55. feardatiger009 says: Jul 21, 2009 3:39 PM

    I don’t know if this has anything to do with the situation, especially because ESPN has reported it, but ESPN.coms sportsnations previously had AFC North blogger James Walker scheduled for a chat today. They have since taken him off the chat, possibly to avoid any Big Ben questions, then again it could be for another reason as well.

  56. mashoaf says: Jul 21, 2009 3:56 PM

    This whole situation seems like an episode of Playmakers. Maybe ESPN is worried that the NFL will come down on their Monday Night Football deal, if they report anything controversial, just like the NFL did with Playmakers.

  57. mark-madsen-spanish says: Jul 21, 2009 4:09 PM

    They reported Laker Shannon Brown’s civil suit over a rape case.

  58. bucc19 says: Jul 21, 2009 4:17 PM

    ESPN is horrible. They fight as well be Fox News. It’s obviously clear they have an agenda for not reporting the story.Oh really? Like CNN doesn’t have an agenda for not reporting things? Please.

  59. svn says: Jul 21, 2009 4:21 PM

    ESPN wouldve reported it if someone accused the patriots of taping the rams practices before the superbowl

  60. SF Saints Fan says: Jul 21, 2009 4:24 PM

    I really think I have figured out why ESPN has not reported on the Big Ben story. Follow me here. ESPN has only so many lawyers available to do work for them. They want to nail down the Roethlisberger (I hate typing that name) story, and they have to have the lawyers on this so that they “get it right”. And most of the said ESPN lawyers are too busy shutting down websites that are posting the Erin Andrews peephole video. I finally decided to look for that video (I have not read the complaint yet in the Roethlisberger case yet……..) and I have to say for a peephole video it is pretty good. And, by the way, the rug matches the drapes!

  61. Reprehensihillbillity says: Jul 21, 2009 4:36 PM

    Run1out says:
    July 21, 2009 1:45 PM
    Who goes to ESPN anyhow? I have gone there maybe 5 times in two years. Who changed my username Florio? Thats incredible! My name was bad but you let (Fucter N. Haddasandwhich) go by huh? What gives?
    No, they only let it go for a week or so, then those totalitarian wang-riders went back and changed the name on my more recent posts to
    “Hungry N. Hadasnack”
    (conveniently, right after some douche-slurper I was arguing with mocked my name, leading him to delusionally believe I had actually changed it for HIS sake…that horn-blower, like Florio, was a Dikings fan. Coincidence? I think not. Conspiracy? You know it).
    Anyway, I’ve been test-driving screen names ever since.
    Considered “PFTFuctme N. Changedmyname”, but I don’t think it will fit.
    Was “Skol-hole” for a while.
    And “Snarky Snide Sniper”.
    Reprehensihillbillity for now, formerly Fucter.
    Stay fucting tuned.

  62. CoreyC in CT says: Jul 21, 2009 4:48 PM

    Excuse me, but wasn’t the O.J. Simpson wrongful death case a CIVIL trial?? And you covered the hell out of that one, ESPN!!
    Many sites are withholding the name of the “victim” in this case, because it’s a sexual assault case. Excuse me, it’s NOT … it’s NOT CRIMINAL.
    It’s a civil suit, and the plaintiff (not victim) needs to be exposed to the light of day here. If she wanted to be protected, she should have gone to the cops and filed charges. But she didn’t.

  63. Travis says: Jul 21, 2009 5:20 PM

    Didn’t someone charge Rick Pitino with something like this a few months ago?

  64. screaming sheep says: Jul 21, 2009 6:00 PM

    Florio, you want page hits? Post the Erin Andrews video. That will get you hits, and ESPN’s attention.
    By the way, I have seen it, their real, and their spectacular.

  65. kosarisking says: Jul 21, 2009 6:50 PM

    Why are we getting up in arms because ESPN is simply being ESPN…
    This is the network …
    that had Pedro Gomez sucking up to Barry Bonds for 2+ years.
    who thinks Colin Cowherd is cutting edge.
    employed the GM who drafted Pac-Man Jones and allowed said GM to pontificate as an expert in personnel decisions.
    who put Greenberg and Golic out as weinies during the all-star game.
    who has canonized Jim Valvano who was a cheating basketball coach.
    allows Dick Vitale to shill for every scandalous college basketball coach in America.
    I can go on and on…
    ESPN is the reason I watch less and less sports and care even less than I watch.

  66. AutumnWind999 says: Jul 21, 2009 8:31 PM

    Ever since Disney sunk its claws into ESPN that network is just getting suckier and suckier. This is what happens when corporate, big-shot know-it-alls think they’re so f-ing smart and everyone else is so f-ing stupid. They completely ruin their product.
    At least ESPN dumped Kornheiser for Gruden on the MNF broadcasts. That’s about the only time I’m compelled to watch ESPN anyway so that change probably means more to me than anything else they do or don’t do.
    NFL Network blows away the clowns over at ESPN like Cris Carter, Schlereth, etc.

  67. AutumnWind999 says: Jul 21, 2009 8:33 PM

    “This is the network …
    … who thinks Colin Cowherd is cutting edge.”
    Word. Cowherd is a total JACKASS!!!

  68. john FX says: Jul 21, 2009 11:55 PM

    ESPN always protects their golden boys
    Brady, farve, Peyton, Eli, Ben
    Bad guys
    Vick, Mcnabb, ricky williams, Boldin, Rlewis, pacman, T.O
    see the trend.
    I understand that the golden boys have a clean record but sheez they flood the internet sometimes with non stories

  69. teh Kahn says: Jul 22, 2009 3:52 AM

    ESPN, ABC, owned by the same company.
    They do a lot of other crap like this too, where they don’t post the most pertinent info on the front page…
    Like the first wave of the NBA ref scandal. Etc.
    If he was a Raider, it would be front page news, I’m sure of that. They’d all be laughing.
    And, what’s the deal with them suddenly checking sources now? Clayton is wrong on more reports than he has right lately. They don’t need to worry about sources for that?
    ESPN used to be the best… My how they have fallen.

  70. Marc in Boca says: Jul 22, 2009 11:20 AM

    ESPN fails again to be a reputable source of sports news. True or not the story should be reported. But Ben’s their “golden boy” and is on ABC/ESPN. You can bet that if this were a story about an African American player it would be reported by them. Their racism in this case is blatant. ESPN again shows their true “colors”!

  71. RAINN says: Jul 23, 2009 11:52 AM

    If you or someone you love has been a victim of sexual violence, you are not alone. To get help or information about how to help, consider calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or instant messaging online with a professional at The hotlines are run by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) and are secure, anonymous and confidential. 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police and in many instances it is out of fear that the victim will not be believed.

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