Dixie State University is making changes to provide increased support for victims of sexual and domestic abuse.
On July 28, Ashley Bates, police records and security supervisor, became an advocate for victims of domestic abuse through the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition. This coalition was created to help victims of sexual and domestic violence by using four operations: advocate, collaborate, educate and connect.
Now that Bates is an advocate, she is hoping victims come forward so she can assist them in situations that are overwhelming and frustrating.
Bates said, “We provide assistance in numerous ways… empowering them, supporting them, trying to get them out of the situation… helping them with court procedures, filing protection orders or going through them with the court hearings.”
Chief of Police Blair Barfuss said the DSUPD is implementing “immediate change” regarding resources for victims, including easy access and services that students can reach with their fingertips. DSUPD will be working on hosting and attending various domestic violence awareness campaigns.
DSU is trying to create a better and safer environment by providing more services and resources for students.
Hazel Sainsbury, equity compliance and Title IX coordinator, points domestic abuse victims toward Bates. Sainsbury’s job allows her to educate faculty, staff and students about sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment.
“We want to make sure we’re offering resources and reports so that students can be productive within [DSU], be able to continue their classes, and that we can — through our office — provide resources to support them,” Sainsbury said.
Bates becoming a certified advocate has opened doors for victims on campus and has allowed DSUPD to partner with programs such as the DOVE Center.
The DOVE Center works with victims of violence and provides shelter. Its website states, “DOVE Center is the only area agency working directly with law enforcement and Dixie Regional Medical Center to provide advocacy for sexual assault/rape victims 24-hours a day.”
Sainsbury said, “Having an advocate who can help an individual navigate through the process of what [domestic violence] might look like is also just another additional layer of support.”
Anyone who needs to get in contact with Bates may see her in the North Burns Offices, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her on-duty cell phone at 435-236-4000.
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