DPS, ‘U’ take sexual assault very seriously

To the Daily:

As a follow-up to the news article DPS sees overall drop in
crime (10/06/04) and the letter to the editor Comments reveal
‘U’ is not taking sexual assault seriously enough
(10/07/04), I share these thoughts:

The University, including Department of Public Safety officers,
takes all forms of sexual violence very seriously, including
assaults by acquaintances. DPS is highly committed to contributing
to a safe environment for students, staff, faculty and visitors
while on our campus. The police officers receive specific initial
and follow-up refresher training regarding dealing with sexual
violence incidents, including the critical importance of being
sensitive to all involved parties.

I did not mean to imply that acquaintance assault is not a real
assault. Nor that the commitment of DPS officers varies depending
on the type of sexual assault. In fact, during the interview with
the Daily, I was trying to convey that the commitment of DPS
officers extends to all survivors of sexual assaults and domestic
violence — women, men, children — in connecting them
with appropriate resources, such as SAPAC, regardless of whether
the offender is a stranger, family member or other
acquaintance.

Additionally, as was stated in our press release detailing the
annual crime stats but not included in the Daily article, DPS
officers continue to be concerned about the reports of sexual
assaults, including acquaintance rape and unwanted touching, and
we’re hopeful that this year’s campaign by SAPAC (Take
a Stand. Help stop sexual violence at the U-M.) will raise
awareness and help reduce these incidents.

Diane Brown

Spokeswoman, University Facilities and Operations

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