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sexual assault

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The president of Utah State University, Noelle Cockett, held an early morning meeting with students in the music department on Friday. She acknowledged allegations of sexual assault that surfaced online this week involving music faculty and promised an investigation is underway.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

All eyes in the film industry are on Sundance this year.

Renee Bright / KUER

Earlier this year, a woman who works at the Utah Legislature was talking to a lawmaker in the hallway at the Utah State Capitol. It was a professional conversation — they were talking about a bill, when the lawmaker started fiddling with a button on his jacket. It was starting to come loose, and he hinted that he’d like her to sew it back on for him.

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Students at Brigham Young University want to see more education about sexual assault and resources available to victims, according to results from a campus survey about sexual assault released Thursday.

Radiowest / KUER

It’s been nearly a month since allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood megaproducer Harvey Weinstein first surfaced. More than 60 women have now come forward to accuse him. Many of those allegations were said to have happened at film festivals — Toronto, Cannes, and even Sundance, which happens in Park City every January.

Over the weekend the hashtag “Me Too” went viral on social media as women and men shared stories of sexual assault and harassment. By Monday afternoon, the hashtag had been Tweeted more than half a million times.

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For a victim of sexual assault, waiting for an update on his or her case can be a painful process on its own. But a new hotline in Utah, might help put them at ease.

Whittney Evans

Brigham Young University has formalized a new policy that provides amnesty to victims or witnesses of sexual assault. The university’s Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault recommended the policy last October.

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A civil rights group is filing a complaint against a Utah County Judge who called a convicted sex offender an “extraordinarily good man” at his sentencing hearing. The group wants the complaint to be a teaching moment for the criminal justice system.  

The Salt Lake Tribune

Reporting led by journalists at The Salt Lake Tribune helped spur major reforms at Utah colleges and universities this past year. Administrators and policy makers are now rethinking how allegations of sexual assault are handled on college campuses.

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A bill that would require all sexual assault kits in the state be tested passed unanimously Friday in the Utah House of Representatives. 

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The Democratic leader in the Utah House of Representatives is making another attempt to pass a sex education bill. Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, tried to run a comprehensive sex education bill last year but it failed.

Whittney Evans

Brigham Young University will no longer investigate alleged victims of sexual assault for violating the schools strict code of conduct. The school announced Wednesday, it’s changing its policies.

Nicole Nixon

Students at Westminster College are hosting a full week of events devoted to discussing and preventing sexual assault. The message is focused on believing victims who come forward.

Brigham Young University launched a website Thursday to collect comments about sexual assault on campus. It’s part of a BYU-led study of the school’s sexual assault reporting process.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah researchers have found that sexual trauma in the military is associated with a much higher risk for homelessness. They’ve published their conclusions in a new study.

Brigham Young University

A Brigham Young University researcher says she has found significant bias in how Utah law enforcement decide to submit rape kits for testing.

Image courtesy Talk to a Survivor

Wednesday is “Start By Believing Day” in Utah. The public awareness campaign is aimed at changing the way people respond to rape and sexual assault. DeAnn Tilton is a survivor of sexual assault and creator of the organization Talk to a Survivor. Tilton says victims are too often silenced out of fear that people will not believe them or they will be blamed.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Westminster College is hosting its second annual conference on campus sexual violence. This year, the college is expanding the discussion to include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

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A new organization aims to raise awareness about sexual assault in Utah. It’s called Honey.

West Valley City

Wednesday marks the launch of an annual campaign in Utah to change the way people respond to reports of rape and sexual assault. It calls on law enforcement, family and friends to “Start by Believing”. 

Sexual Consent Bill Passes House With No Debate

Feb 10, 2015
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The Utah House voted unanimously to pass HB74 Tuesday. The bill clarifies the meaning of consent in sexual offense cases.

Whittney Evans

The Salt Lake City Police Department has formally signed on to partner with a national research organization and the U.S. Department of Justice to establish nationwide standards for handling sexual assault cases. 

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Over the weekend Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank announced his department has been selected to undergo a federal review of how it handles sexual assault cases.

The Police Detective Research Forum and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women will conduct the review. Salt Lake City is one of four police departments nationwide to be selected. Police Detective Greg Wilking says it’s expected to take about a year to complete but there is no definitive deadline.

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Utah lawmakers were at the state capitol today discussing how to deal with thousands of untested rape in the state. They heard from law enforcement, victim advocates and the state crime lab. But there’s still no consensus on whether all the kits actually need to be tested.