LOGAN – In another step to improve campus safety, Utah State University will use a grant funded through the federal Violence Against Women Act to hire a victim advocate and an investigator who specializes in certain crimes against women.
Jenny Erazo is director of USU’s Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence Information office.
”We’ve had a really good relationship with our current advocates, in the situation we’re in,” Erazo said, “but this is just creating a bigger safety net and a better response overall for the victims at USU.”
Erazo said the past three years USU has taken several actions toward prevention of and response to campus sexual violence.
“I couldn’t do my job here as a victim advocate, because that’s where I started, and do that job without working at a university that knew that this was important,” she added. “I think when the Torrey Green cases hit and were brought forward, you start to see all of the holes, and so there was just an incredible response from the university.”
USU Police Chief Earl Morris said the grant will improve campus safety by helping to serve victims while putting more resources into holding perpetrators accountable.
Morris said in recent years USU created a new Task Force to recommend vast changes, began requiring all new students to complete an online sexual assault prevention program their first semester and instituted a new program, “Upstanding-Stepping Up to Prevent Violence in Utah,” for USU campuses.