Increased access to sexual assault reporting tools like Seek Then Speak is helping sexual assault and rape survivors across the nation connect more easily with law enforcement and supportive services.
In a recent crime report from the city of San Luis Obispo in California, the police department reported a 41 percent increase in sexual assault and rape reports in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Police chief Deanna Cantrell said she doesn’t think the reports are increasing because the city has an increased number of assaults, but instead women are feeling more comfortable coming forward and reporting more than before.
San Luis Obispo is one of many communities across the nation using Seek Then Speak as a resource to help sexual assault survivors gather information, explore their options, and then, if they are ready, connect with a local law enforcement agency to begin filing a report, and/or connect with local victim services for additional support.
"It's one more way to report," Cantrell told The New Times newspaper in a recent interview. "They can report right there without leaving the comfort of their own home."
Seek Then Speak is a multilingual resource that allows sexual assault survivors to connect to resources via a computer, app, or phone. It guides survivors through a series of questions so they can best figure out what options are right for them. Seek Then Speak allows survivors to remain anonymous as long as they’d like. They remain in control of the information shared, who it’s shared with, and what happens with what they share.
For a limited time, eligible law enforcement agencies, campus Title IX offices, and rape crisis centers can apply for a grant to bring Seek Then Speak to their communities at no cost. To learn more about the grant, visit www.victimlink.com/nocost.