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Brighton and Commerce City police unveil app to help Colorado sexual assault victims speak out

Brighton and Commerce City police unveil app to help sexual assault victims speak out
Brighton and Commerce City police unveil app to help sexual assault victims speak out 02:51

Brighton and Commerce City police have launched a new tool they hope will empower more sexual assault victims to come forward when they become a victim of a crime.


"It's well understood that less than 20% of those who survive a sexual assault incident report it to law enforcement," said Jeremy Jenkins, the Investigations Commander for the Commerce City Police Department.

This month, both police departments, as part of their joint sexual assault task force, announced a new app called Seek then Speak. It was developed by Ending Violence Against Women International.

"We want victims to be able to see that there is help for them," said Kim Messina, who is manager of Brighton Office for Victim Assistance's Victim Services.

Messina says the app has one section where survivors can seek out information on resources available to them in their community. The second section offers them a chance to speak out about their crime.

"The speak part is where they actually start the online form that is self-guided, it's trauma informed, and it allows them to start and stop, go back if they remember something, [and] skip something if it's too much," said Messina. "Once they finish it, they download it as a PDF and then email it to our department and that goes directly to the investigator."

Police say the app is more user friendly for survivors than other methods of reporting because it gives them more time to fill out the form and provide details, which could prevent them having to re-tell their story with investigators.

"You keep it on your device until you are finished and then you download it as a pdf and then it's no longer on that app. Nobody else has control over it, other than the victim," said Messina.

"The information is all collected in a central point that is managed by the office of victim assistance, which provides victim advocacy resources for the city of Commerce City as well," said Jenkins.

Jekins says in 2023, their sexual assault task force handled over 280 new sexual assault reports.

"That's a significant workload," said Jenkins.

However, it is a workload they say shows how much more sexual assault victims might be willing to come forward with the right tools in place to empower them to speak out. They hope this new app could help bring more cases to light.

"To have the resources and the information that they need to move forward and to begin the healing process," said Jenkins.

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