Editor’s Note: This story contains themes of sexual assault, which may be triggering to some. An asterisk identifies a source’s name has been changed to protect their anonymity.
Reporting sexual assault and accessing resources can often be challenging for survivors. One student leader aims to address this issue by developing a proposal for a sexual assault resources portal.
ASWSU President Curtis Cohen ventured to draft the proposal after seeing people he knows go through WSU’s investigative process. He said it was frustrating to witness them go through that process and not receive the justice they desired.
“It really ties back to being equitable,” Cohen said. “It’s 2021. I’m surprised that, you know, we haven’t adapted these resources to be more in line with our needs.”
The portal would contain a flowchart detailing the investigative process of WSU’s Office of Compliance and Civil Rights, he said.
Having a flowchart promotes transparency of the investigative process for survivors in a manner that is easy to comprehend, Cohen said.
“This is something that may be a student’s first time filing a report so they have no idea what to expect,” he said, “but [having a flowchart] helps alleviate anxiety and anxiousness when it comes to filing a report.”
Cohen said the portal will also have a timeline so students can see the progress being made on their report. This will help make communication between CCR and students easier.
“I think it’s just terrible for any student to have to file a report and not hear back for days or weeks,” he said.
Through the development of the portal, he hopes more resources will be available for survivors. Cohen said he wants to see campus resources be easily accessible on campus.
The portal’s link will be posted on the comprehensive student resource page Cohen and other ASWSU senators are trying to develop, he said.
Aside from the portal, students will have the opportunity to share their sexual assault stories through a Survivors’ Page network.
The development of the page is part of the University Survivors Movement. The movement started last year and encouraged college students to create survivor-centered Instagram accounts. Justice* said the page will serve as a place for survivors to support each other.
Platforms like Survivors’ Pages are anonymous, which means survivors can share their stories anonymously. Justice said no one will know who will run the account to ensure that person’s safety.
WSU currently does not have its official Survivors’ Page, Justice said. Individuals interested in running the account should email email@example.com