Sexual violence on college campuses is an issue that has been simmering in the public consciousness for a long time. But after national criticism of the Jameis Winston investigation, the issue has reached a full boil in Tallahassee.
Refuge House, the Big Bend’s rape crisis and domestic violence program, is working to address the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The group hosted an event Wednesday giving community members the chance to share their experiences and hear from experts working in the field. The discussion aims to improve the way local agencies respond to cases of rape.
Refuge House Executive Director Meg Baldwin says speakers shared an array of suggested improvements to the criminal justice system, including “a whole range of best practices that other communities have developed to assure consistent, trauma-informed and victim-centered investigative techniques, as well as prosecution strategies for presenting the experience of victims to juries.”
Baldwin says other proposals focus on research.
“Amy Herdy for example, who was our keynote speaker, suggested that FSU do a community survey of its students as well as faculty and staff to try to assess the scope of the problem of sexual violence,” Baldwin says.
To advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, Refuge House is involved in ongoing dialogue with schools, law enforcement and prosecutors. They hope Wednesday’s event will help support this mission.