You Have Options Program
Under-reporting of sexual assaults is a major problem throughout this country. The Brighton Police Department’s participation in the You Have Options Program is our commitment to sexual assault victims that they will not only be heard, but also have their individual concerns addressed during both the reporting and investigative process.
The person who commits sexual assault is solely responsible for that assault and our job as law enforcement officers is to gather evidence that will allow that offender to be held accountable for his/her crimes. Our officers and detectives receive advanced training on trauma interviewing and investigative strategies to identify serial sexual perpetrators. Through this program, none of that work can begin without a sexual assault victim reporting.
The Brighton Police Department has long recognized the need to partner with community members when it comes to investigating and solving crimes. Nowhere is this more apparent than the investigation and prevention of sexual assaults. This program is a commitment to victims of sexual assault to work with them through this process, should they choose to report.
We pledge to every victim of sexual assault who enters the program by reporting their victimization that we will abide by these concepts. We understand that every victim of sexual assault will have unique concerns during the reporting process and we will work with each victim to address those concerns.
The Brighton Police Department will not require any sexual assault victim to make a decision regarding their participation in a criminal investigation when they initially report. Sexual assault victims are given the time they need to make the decisions right for them, regardless of the criminal investigation. Priority is always given to a sexual assault victim’s physical safety and mental well-being.
I hope that those considering reporting will take a moment to read about the 20 Elements of a Victim-Centered and Offender-Focused You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Response. Outlined within those elements are options for reporting at the Brighton Police Department. Our officers and investigators are always available to speak with victims if there are questions about the reporting or investigative process. There is no requirement to provide any identifying information to get answers. You may remain anonymous. We will provide a sexual assault advocate and medical care whenever possible, even if they never intend to file a police report.
We envision a criminal justice system where victims of sexual violence view law enforcement as a viable route to justice.
GOALS OF THE YOU HAVE OPTIONS PROGRAM
1. Increase the number of victims who report sexual assault to law enforcement.
2. Increase identification and investigation of sexual offenders.
3. Provide a law enforcement response to sexual violence that is beneficial to both victims and the criminal justice system.
We are a law enforcement-led program providing uniformity and accountability through training and technical assistance to a nationwide body of sworn law enforcement agencies who are committed to the highest standards of response to victims of sexual violence.