UNM unveils new resource for sexual assault victims

Posted at: 09/03/2013 5:35 PM | Updated at: 09/04/2013 9:16 AM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

UNM is implementing a new program this school year to help victims of sexual assault, called the Sexual Assault Response Team.

Despite the blue lights and a campus escort system, crimes can still happen – and when they do, students want to see victims coping and attackers punished.

“Last year when they had those gropers they got away with it, no one ever found out who they were - so it would be nicer for everything to be nearer to UNM,” UNM senior Michael Salazar said.

New this year, students who’ve been sexually assaulted can get medical help, counseling, report to police and report to the university all in one place. UNM hopes it will give the victim control over what happens next, and make it easier for them to report crimes.

“That there's ways to prevent it and it almost sends a warning to other people that if you do do something, you're not gonna get away with it,” UNM freshman Marissa Martinez said.

Along the way, alleged victims have a choice.

“At every point along the process, the victim can say no, I can go forward, or I think I wanna stop here for awhile,” Summer Little of the UNM Women’s Resource Center.

But UNM hopes putting the tools in one place instead of making them jump from the doctor to counselor to police will help students feel better about the process.

UNM expects it could lead to more reports of sexual assault, just because more victims will choose to report.

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