Eastern Washington University tackles sexual assault with online - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Eastern Washington University tackles sexual assault with online survey

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CHENEY, Wash. -

New online tools, including a web-based "report a problem" option, including sexual assaults, are now available to many college students.   The state government made it mandatory for public colleges and universities to provide one.

It's been available for about two weeks at Eastern Washington University and it allows students, faculty and staff to be able to do more than just report a sexual assault. 

"At the beginning of the year we heard a lot about it, but since then we haven't heard that much," says Izaak Curry, a sophomore at EWU.  He's talking about sexual assaults on campus.  Back in the fall, in a little more than a one month period, seven sexual assaults were reported at EWU. 

"It makes you more aware of what's happening around," says freshman, Eric Villanueva, "so you just know you can't be too careful." 

Washington state law requires public colleges and universities to conduct assessment surveys that include policies and procedures addressing sexual assault and violence, plus options for reporting it.  You can even remain anonymous.   

"I think the survey is a really good idea for students who aren't feeling comfortable talking about this face to face with anybody because that can be really scary," says Tori Bender, a freshman at EWU.

"A lot of people after an incident like that don't feel strong.  They feel very vulnerable and they could break down and it could bring back memories," says Villanueva.  "Being able to do it anonymously would help them enormously I believe."

Since the survey became available at EWU, the school has had close to 200 filled out.   

"A lot of students prefer doing things like that online because they just feel safer," says Bender. 

The number of reports doesn't equal that number of crimes, but each is being taken seriously. 

The Title IX office says this refined process makes it easier to get the students the help and resources they need.   It also let's the school know what they can be doing to make everyone on campus safer.    

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