You Have Options Sexual Assault Reporting Program
The Ashland Police Department developed the ‘You Have Options’ campaign to increase sexual assault reports by eliminating as many barriers to reporting as possible. An integral part of this program is the victim-centered response currently being implemented by every officer at the Ashland Police Department.
A victim-centered response includes providing every sexual assault survivor with options for their report. A survivor could initially report using an online form, provide information anonymously with no law enforcement contact or choose from many other options that can be tailored to fit their individual needs.
The Ashland Police Department allows sexual assault survivors to control how much or how little they participate with the investigative process. Survivors of sexual assault are given the time they need to make the decision that is right for them while investigating officers work to obtain and preserve as much evidence as possible, regardless of the victim’s choice to proceed with charges.
The Ashland Police Department understands that barriers to reporting are different for each survivor. A survivor can speak with an officer about their options without a formal investigation ever being initiated. The Ashland Police Department works closely with sexual assault advocates and the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team. It is a priority to make sure each survivor receives access to medical care and advocacy.
Increased reporting of sexual assault allows law enforcement the opportunity to identify and prosecute sexual predators in our community. Ashland Police Department investigators receive advanced training on offender-focused sexual assault investigations.
The Ashland Police Department developed the website www.ReportingOptions.org to provide an easily accessible place for all members of the Ashland community to learn about their options for reporting a sexual assault. The website explains three levels of reporting: Complete Investigation, Partial Investigation and Information Only. The website also offers an online report form, answers to frequently asked questions such as ‘What if I don’t want anyone to know?’ and ‘Will I be believed?’ along with local, state and national resources for sexual assault survivors.
Go to www.ReportingOptions.org for more information or call 541-482-5211.
The video below was created for the You Have Options Program.