New technology to help sexual assault victims in Alachua county

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The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office has a new tool to support sexual assault victims in Alachua county.

The new tool is called ‘Seek Then Speak.’

Through the program, victims can report the crime directly to law enforcement but also request support services from victim advocacy.

“The survivor is in control of the process and not necessarily the law enforcement officers or the state attorney’s office,” said Lt. Brandon Kutner, major crime bureaus chief for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. “We want the victim to feel comfortable that when they come forward—one, that they are going to be believed. And two, we are going to do everything possible to attend to their needs as a victim as well as attend to what we need to do from a law enforcement standpoint to make sure the individual is held accountable for what they do.”

Authorites say less than one out of five sexual assault victims actually report the crime, and they hope this new technology will improve that.

The program may also be used by people who know about the crime and want to know how to help the victim.

You can find this new program on www.seekthenspeak.org, through the mobile app “Seek Then Speak,” or by calling their hotline at 888-865-9863.

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