USU To Hire Victim Advocate, Special Investigator With Federal Grant

Jan 17, 2020, 10:32 PM

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State University will be hiring a victim advocate and a police officer who specializes in domestic and sexual assaults with the help of a federal grant.

School officials said the positions are the latest effort in a series of changes to better support survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

The two new positions are made possible through a $125,000 grant funded through the federal Violence Against Women Act.

“These are highly-skilled positions that will be able to help those who have been victimized by these crimes,” said USU’s Executive Director of Public Safety, Earl Morris. “The goal and objective here is to create an environment in which law enforcement is really viewed as part of this whole victim’s advocacy program, and we hope our students will see that.”

Morris said he was approached by staff from the Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information Office, or SAAVI, with the idea of applying for the grant, and agreed that it was a good idea.

“We are always looking for opportunities to expand services that we can provide to survivors on our campus,” said Felicia Gallegos, an outreach and prevention coordinator with SAAVI. “It really demonstrates how much this university cares about students, faculty, and staff across our statewide system. They want to make sure that the students above all are getting the support they need to be successful, and they’re willing to do that in any way possible.”

The move to obtain the grant is just one of many changes that have taken place after an internal inquiry took place that looked into how the university responded to accusations that former USU football player, Torrey Green, had sexually assaulted several women. He has since been sentenced in six of those cases.

Morris said he’s hopeful the new positions will help continue to build trust with the student population, and especially with survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence. The university will be able to reapply for the grant after a year, but he says the positions will hopefully remain part of a long-term plan.

“We just want to make sure that we are equipped as a department of public safety, and as a university as a whole, to meet their needs,” Morris said. “Our ultimate goal is to create a program that the administration will see needs to be here, regardless of whether or not we get funding from an outside source.”

Gallegos added while more survivors are having the confidence to come forward, much more work still needs to be done.

“Overall, we still aren’t having these open conversations about what it’s like to experience interpersonal violence, and then also what you do next,” Gallegos said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Two members of USU Aviation program killed in plane crash

Two people died Friday morning in a small airplane crash in Cache County.
1 day ago
Chris Jensen and Chris Wharton have been married for six years....
Mike Anderson

LGBTQ+ community concerned Supreme Court could revisit same-sex marriage

An opinion filed by Justice Clarence Thomas has some people concerned over whether the Supreme Court could reconsider other past rulings, including same-sex marriage and contraception.
1 day ago
Erin Cox

Faith leaders: Abortion conversation has changed, not religious stances

KSL's Erin Cox spoke one-on-one with some of Utah's most influential faith leaders about how their stances on abortion have not changed, but the conversations surrounding them have.
1 day ago
Shara Park

Two Utah Olympians experience ride of a lifetime with Air Force Thunderbirds

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds gave a “Hometown Hero” ride of a lifetime to two of Utah’s Olympians Friday as final preparations are underway for this weekend’s Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill Air Force Base.
1 day ago
FILE: Image of a pregnant woman. (Deseret News, Sara Reid)...
Ashley Moser

Does Utah adequately fund support for women with unwanted pregnancies?

The number one reason Utah women seek an abortion is socioeconomic, according to statistics from the Utah Department of Health. As KSL's Ashley Moser explains, experts say there are policies lawmakers should consider right now to help women financially.
1 day ago
The Utah State Capitol on Friday, March 25 when the Utah House and Senate voted to overturn a veto....
Larry D. Curtis

BREAKING: Abortion now prohibited in Utah

The Utah law prohibiting abortion, with some exceptions, is now part of Utah legal code according to a notice sent from the Utah State Legislature Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
USU To Hire Victim Advocate, Special Investigator With Federal Grant