UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 18, 2024

Take a stand against sexual assault with these resources

It is easy to be unsettled by the alerts on your phone or the posters and signs warning people about assault. The important thing is to stay safe and know that you are not viewed as just another statistic. Mason Britton | Sun News Daily

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Roughly 30% of sexual assault cases are reported to law enforcement. This could be for many reasons such as embarrassment, fear or not knowing where to report the situation. 

Jamy Dahle, director of counseling services and wellness promotion, said, “Sexual assault can have a broad range from unwanted touching to unwanted sexual intercourse.”

Utah Tech University and the city of St. George offer many resources and ways for those who have been affected by sexual assault to report the case and get the help they need.

Booth Wellness Center

Those who work with the center are mandatory reporters and are willing to help students report cases, especially if they happen on campus. This is to keep those on campus safe as well as find those responsible.

This center offers medical and mental health services.

Dahle said, “Being a college student and already navigating all the other stressors and then having that [sexual assault] on top of it can be a huge challenge.”

Those who work within the facility want students to know that it is a safe place to go to report assault or abuse in any way and are willing to walk those involved through reporting cases and guide them in the right direction.

Dove Center

The Dove Center is a resource for students and the public that allows people to report intimate partner violence. The center has an entire system for when these cases are reported as well as procedures on what to do in these cases.

In the William Browning building on campus, there is a Dove Center representative there once a week to assist or answer questions for anyone who needs it. The Student Resource Center works closely with the center to make sure there is an option for anyone who needs it. 

If a person seems to be in a place where they are at a high risk of domestic abuse, the center has a new program called the Lethality Assessment Program. This allows anyone to be able to report assault or domestic abuse in a quick questionnaire that gives the local agency information on the case.

Dahle said: “Nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted regardless of the circumstance. Regardless of attire, regardless of environment, regardless if they have been consuming alcohol or other drugs.” 

Safe UT app

This app can be downloaded for free for anyone who feels the need to use it. This is a way to access emergency contacts within a few seconds. It is also a way for the college to access information about what goes on around campus.

The app offers many options to quickly access important things as well as get support from the school and police directly.

Some of those options include:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Friend Walk
  • Report a tip
  • Safety Tool Box
  • Campus Maps
  • Emergency Procedures

Other resources such as fingerprinting, notary, lost and found, lockout or jumpstart services, safety escorts, upcoming classes and emergency alerts are also offered.

Downloading this app with just a few clicks is an easy and quick way to stay safe, especially if students are on their own on and around campus.

Using these tools in the proper way can spread positive resources and knowledge for sexual assault cases, whether that be for those victims to find the proper help or know how to avoid these issues.

Police

Both on and off-campus police stations are available at all hours of the day and are available to help and assist.

About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 16 men will experience sexual assault in college. Different events, times of the day and people you’re with can also change these odds.

Something as quick as dialing 911 or the campus police dispatch number, 435-627-4300, can save you and others from assault or getting into situations where it is a possibility.

Wes LiCalzi, interim chief of police, said, “If you choose to report to the Police Department, you can rest assured that our team will treat you with dignity and respect while thoroughly working the investigation for justice and prevention of further victims.”

There are many steps that can be taken for people to avoid getting into situations where assault can become an issue. Sometimes it is something that happens even if there is an effort made to get out of the situation.

LiCalzi said: “I would like to stress that if you are a victim of a sexual assault, you are not to blame. When you are ready, you can feel comfortable and confident in reaching out to the Victim’s Advocate for resources and help.”

“You have the right to say “no,” Dahle said. “Establish your boundaries up front. Anytime you’re engaging in any type of sexual activity, it’s important to have an ongoing conversation about ongoing consent.” 

Those on and off campus are there to help. So whether you are worried about being in a sexual assault situation or have been a victim, there are resources that are available at any given time. 

Dry Bottoms, director of the student resource center, said she believes that one of the biggest issues with cases likes these is that students don’t know where to go. Starting with that first step of knowing who to talk to or knowing the procedure can make the biggest difference.