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New digital tool aimed at supporting local sexual assault victims

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The Spokane Police Department announced this month, that in conjunction with Lutheran Community Services Northwest is launching a new way for victims of sexual assault to access services.

Seek Then Speak is a new tool to support sexual assault victims and is now available as  a free resource for Spokane.  The goal of the tool is to help sexual assault victims engage with local recovery and reporting resources, which  will aid survivors in gathering information, exploring options and taking action when they’re ready. Victims and their support people can connect multiple ways; by web, phone, or mobile app.

“We believe this platform will be useful for survivors to gain information, connect to resources and report assaults,” said Sgt. Glenn Bartlett with SPD’s Special Victim’s Unit in a press release. “With Seek Then Speak, advocates and law enforcement can employ a holistic approach to support, assist and provide guidance to survivors. This benefits the entire community.”

Seek Then Speak is also available in many languages to increase victim access and was developed to end the silence for sexual assault victims, according to an announcement.

Seek Then Speak works in partnership with an agency platform called Victim Link, which was co-developed by Ten8Tech and End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI). Victim Link combines technology and education to improve community responses to sexual assault. The programs also coordinate with Start by Believing, the campaign that prepares friends and family members to respond appropriately to a sexual assault disclosure.

Seek Then Speak is available to anyone in Spokane by visiting www.SeekThenSpeak.org, calling 888-865-9863, or downloading the mobile app (Android and iOS).

Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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