New Protocol at UVA to Ease Process of Reporting Sexual Assaults

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The new protocol will hopefully benefit victims The new protocol will hopefully benefit victims

New protocol is in place in hopes of making it easier for University of Virginia students to report sexual assaults.

On Thursday, January 11, members of the University of Virginia, the county and city police departments, and the state of Virginia came together to make their work from this past year official.

They say this agreement will make investigating and prosecuting cases of sexual assault more efficient.

The planning began a year and a half ago when the sexual assault response team wanted to make sure that everyone was on the same page when dealing with victims.

Police consulted with the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, and also examined the topic with UVA’s Title IX office.

Over the past year, the two groups met monthly to discuss everyone's roles and responsibilities.

Students say this cooperation and the agreement will make the reporting process less traumatic for victims.

“It's a very traumatizing experience to, one, have to be assaulted, and then to have to re-hash that so many times for such a long time span - that can just be very emotionally draining,” says Tara Dolan, a second-year student at UVA. “So I think that this will definitely help a lot."

The team has also given officers specific guidelines for how to best deal with a victim, which they didn’t have in the past.

Officers will also set up victims with a member of SARA to accompany them throughout the entire process of reporting.