University’s Decision on Reporting Law Concerns Advocates

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ATHENS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio University’s decision to require all reports of sexual assault at its rape crisis center to be reported to law enforcement is raising concern from advocates who say fear of police involvement could keep people from seeking help.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that staffers at the state’s 29 other rape crisis centers wouldn’t report a sexual assault to police if a victim doesn’t want it reported.

But the university changed that policy at its center last year. The change means employees have to report an assault to police if a victim reports a rape and gives her name.

Katie Hanna, executive director of the Cleveland-based Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, says survivors are more likely to go for support if they’re able to keep their reports confidential.