Springfield Police Department reports an increase in sexual assault cases
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Police Department reports an increase in sexual assault cases.
In 2022, the Springfield Police Department handled 337 cases of sexual assault. Between February 13-February 26, 2023, police say they received 21 reports.
A sexual assault can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Officers want to bring this issue to your attention to decrease the number of victims. While sexual assault is never the victim’s fault, officers want you to know a few tips to help you stay safe.
First, know how to respond to the situation and communicate clearly with that person. Know how you plan to confront them and fight if you need to.
If you are meeting someone for the first time, pick a public location with many other people. Provide your transportation. If you are meeting for drinks, know what you are drinking and only accept a drink from an employee of the business.
Don’t give out any personal information or send compromising pictures of yourself.
Use extra caution when using a dating app to meet people.
“I think we’re starting to see more people start to use those don’t use those dating apps and going out and meeting individuals,” said Sgt. Casey Wilkerson. They need to be cognizant of who they’re meeting. Be diligent, and who they’re actually meeting, do some research on that individual. If they don’t feel safe with meeting them, take a friend with him and maybe have a coffee date or something like that in a public area.”
If you are uncomfortable, cancel, leave, or bring a friend.
Often the victim knows their attacker, making it difficult for them to report. If you find yourself in this situation, know it is not your fault, and there is help.
Call 911 as soon as possible. Investigators will work with you to file a report and understand the details of your case. Then you will be connected with resources like the victim center to help you process what happened and take the following steps. Keep in mind that just because you file a police report does not mean you have to move forward with prosecution.
“You can make the report, and we will take it,” said Wilkerson. “We won’t do any further follow-up investigation if the victim doesn’t request that. We’re there for the victim. We’re here to provide services and get them through a difficult time in their life.”
For more information on the victim and resources, CLICK HERE.
To report a correction or typo, please email email@example.com
Copyright 2023 KY3. All rights reserved.