Windsor Police have submitted a successful grant proposal to create an online reporting tool that will allow sexual violence and harassment complainants to make a report online, in their own privacy, and at a time of their choosing.
These private interactions occur away from public scrutiny and allow direct communication with a highly trained sexual assault investigator. The program will offer anonymity. There are no neighbourhood questions or stigma associated with a marked police car attending a victim’s location.
In addition, Windsor Police, in collaboration with its community partners, has identified a need to assist victims/survivors of sexual assault and harassment throughout the entire investigative/judicial process.
Police say that research studies have determined that sexual assaults are under reported in the mainstream population and significantly under reported in marginalized communities.
They say that they have consulted with community partners and discussed some of the barriers to reporting for each group and what could be done to improve. These partnerships seek to provide an alternative reporting method to assist persons in coming forward to report this private and serious crime.
In addition, though community education, police say that they are hopeful that the message of “It’s Never Okay” becomes an accepted phrase and enlightens the general public to acceptable sexual practices and to step out of the dark and be confident that the victims/survivors will be treated with dignity and respect by all parties throughout the investigation and judicial process.