NYSP aims to raise college sex assault awareness

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With the start of the fall college semester right around the corner, the New York State Police wants to shine a light on sexual violence among students. Just recently, a new unit was created to help tackle this alarming problem.

Senior Investigator Thomas Gibbons with the New York State Police Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit said, “We’re talking 17, 18, 19 year old kids, and we want to make sure their college experience is a safe one and that they are aware of the dangers that are out there”.”

The newly created unit is a product of the recent recent “Enough is Enough” legislation.

Senior Investigator Gibbons’ main job is to educate students and college faculty on sexual assault and the resources that are available.

“There are layers upon layers of services and great people who dedicated their lives to helping victims sexual assaults out there, and we want to put them in touch with them so they can move forward from that event.”

The statistics are shocking. Roughly 1 in 4 women will be sexually assault or attempted sexual assault during a 4-year college span – these attacks range from groping all of the way to rape. For the victims – 9 out of 10 women knew their attacker. But many of these cases go unsolved because of the lack of reporting.

“90 percent of survivors don’t report to law enforcement, or to the college campus.”

Senior Investigator Gibbons says he want to change those numbers and says the New York State Police will be available to help.

“We are all using the same language, were all using a unified approach when it comes to our training, our education, and if an incident were to occur what resources are available to the survivor of that incident.”

For more information on the resources available from NYSP, go to: http://consentfirst.troopers.ny.gov/

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