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BYU Seeks Feedback to Improve Response to Sexual Assault

Brigham Young University launched a website Thursday to collect comments about sexual assault on campus. It’s part of a BYU-led study of the school’s sexual assault reporting process.

The study comes after several BYU students came forward with allegations that they’ve been punished under the school’s honor code as a result of reporting sexual assaults. Julie Valentine is an Assistant Professor at BYU College of Nursing, a sexual assault nurse examiner, and a member of the new Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault. Valentine says she and others at the university have been hearing from many people. 

“We wanted to find a place to capture all that feedback,” Valentine says. “It’s very important that we hear from anybody that wants to share a personal experience, suggestions, comments.”

On the university’s new website, anyone can post anonymous comments. It’s one piece of a broad study intended to identify changes that could help eliminate sexual assault on campus and improve the reporting process. Valentine says they’re looking closely at the relationship between the Title IX office where assaults are reported and the school’s Honor Code investigations.

“Does that relationship, perceived relationships, experience of other students – has that resulted in survivors of sexual assault not reporting – which is a huge concern – we want these survivors to report,” Valentine says, but she says that issue is one of many reasons students may not be reporting sexual assaults, and the Advisory Council wants to look at all of the factors.

In addition to the website, the council will be collecting information from focus groups, campus police, women’s services and outside experts. Valentine says they expect to report their findings by the end of the summer.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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