new task force
A new task force aims to clearly define roles and responsibilities across agency lines to establish a coordinated response to sexual assault and/or domestic abuse victims in the community. The Personal Violence and Abuse Task Force will make the victim the center in all actions involving their well-being from advocacy to the criminal justice system. The Task Force will work to increase community understanding of sexual assault and domestic abuse, and the various agencies ability to respond.
Task Force partners are the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Grangeville Police Department, Cottonwood Police Department, St. Mary’s Hospital, Syringa Hospital, and the YWCA Outreach Office in Grangeville. An initial goal is to develop training for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification and also training to enhance investigations and prosecution. The Task Force is developing procedures and policies to better understand each agency’s role in responding and holding each other accountable.
A major focus of the Task Force is community education. Task Force partners participated in April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities displaying teal ribbons, magnets on law enforcement vehicles, and partnering on public awareness events. Sexual assaults and domestic abuse crimes are happening and for a variety of reasons these crimes are not being reported. According to Idaho State Crime Clock there is a forcible sex offense every eight hours. Sixty percent of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to police (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network).
Options are available for victims, survivors, and their friends and family. If you experience an assault, go to the emergency room. If you want to report a recent crime, call your local law enforcement office. If you have survived an assault in the past, contact the YWCA for advocacy or a support group.
The Personal Violence and Abuse Task Force meets monthly. For more information contact the YWCA at 208.743.1535 or toll free 800.669.3176.